Do Firms Sell Forward for Strategic Reasons? An Application to the Wholesale Market for Natural Gas
AbstractBuilding on a model of the interaction of risk-averse firms that compete in forward and spot markets, we develop an empirical strategy to test whether oligopolistic firms use forward contracts for strategic motives, for risk-hedging, or for both. An increase in the number of players weakens the incentives to sell forward for risk-hedging reasons. However, if strategic motives are also relevant, then an increase in the number of players strengthens the incentives to sell forward. This difference provides the analyst with a way to identify whether strategic considerations are important at motivating firms to sell forward. Using data from the Dutch wholesale market for natural gas where we observe the number of players, spot and forward sales, and churn rates, we find evidence that strategic reasons play an important role at explaining the observed firms’ (inverse) hedge ratios. In addition, the data lend support to the existence of a learning effect by wholesalers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3270.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
market power; risk-hedging; forward contracts; spot market; over-the-counter trade; market transparency; churn rates;
Other versions of this item:
- van Eijkel, Remco & Moraga-González, Jose L., 2010. "Do firms sell forward for strategic reasons? An application to the wholesale market for natural gas," IESE Research Papers D/864, IESE Business School.
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
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