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A Simple Model of Endogenous Agricultural Commodity Price Fluctuations with Storage

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  • Sophie Mitra

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

  • Jean-Marc Boussard

    (Académie d'Agriculture de France)

Abstract

A debate has been raging for centuries regarding the effects of inter-annual storage on commodity prices. Most analysts consider storage to function as a price stabilizer, while others place it at the core of an explanation of intriguing features of commodity price series, such as skewed distributions. Most studies have been developed in the context of the theory of competitive storage where random shocks affect supply or demand. Recently, the endogenous chaotic behavior of markets has become another possible hypothesis regarding the origin of commodity price fluctuations. We develop a nonlinear cobweb model with intra- and inter-annual storage, risk averse agents and adaptive expectations. Like the theory of competitive storage, this nonlinear cobweb model with storage can reproduce some of the stylized facts of agricultural commodity prices (autocorrelation of first rank, low kurtosis and skewness). In addition, the effects of storage on price variation are mixed. In the presence of inter-annual storage, chaotic price series show less variation compared to a situation without inter-annual storage but we find that storage contributes to the endogenous volatility of prices by making chaotic dynamics more likely.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2011-05.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2011-05

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Web page: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/
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Keywords: Agricultural Prices; Nonlinear Cobweb Model; Endogenous Fluctuations; Storage;

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  1. Wright, Brian D & Williams, Jeffrey C, 1984. "The Welfare Effects of the Introduction of Storage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 169-92, February.
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  3. Robert W. Fogel, 1989. "Second Thoughts on the European Escape from Hunger: Famines, Price Elasticities, Entitlements, Chronic Malnutrition, and Mortality Rates," NBER Historical Working Papers 0001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Athanasiou, George & Karafyllis, Iasson & Kotsios, Stelios, 2008. "Price stabilization using buffer stocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1212-1235, April.
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  8. Voituriez, Tancrede, 2001. "What explains price volatility changes in commodity markets? Answers from the world palm-oil market," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(2-3), pages 295-301, September.
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  10. Hommes, Cars H., 1994. "Dynamics of the cobweb model with adaptive expectations and nonlinear supply and demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 315-335, August.
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  12. Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "On the consistency of backward-looking expectations: The case of the cobweb," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 333-362, January.
  13. Boussard, Jean-Marc, 1996. "When risk generates chaos," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 433-446, May.
  14. Boussard, Jean-Marc & Gerard, Francoise & Piketty, Marie Gabrielle & Ayouz, Mourad & Voituriez, Tancrede, 2006. "Endogenous risk and long run effects of liberalization in a global analysis framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 457-475, May.
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  16. Tomek, William G., 2000. "Commodity Prices Revisited," Staff Papers 121146, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  17. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Kornher, Lukas & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2013. "Food price volatility in developing countries and its determinants," 53rd Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 25-27, 2013 156132, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).

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