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Futures Prices in a Production Economy with Investment Constraints

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  • Leonid Kogan
  • Dmitry Livdan
  • Amir Yaron

Abstract

We document a new stylized fact regarding the term-structure of futures volatility. We show that the relation between the volatility of futures prices and the slope of the term structure of prices is non-monotone and has a %u201CV-shape%u201D'. This aspect of the data cannot be generated by basic models that emphasize storage while this fact is consistent with models that emphasize investment constraints or, more generally, time-varying supply-elasticity. We develop an equilibrium model in which futures prices are determined endogenously in a production economy in which investment is both irreversible and is capacity constrained. Investment constraints affect firms' investment decisions, which in turn determine the dynamic properties of their output and consequently imply that the supply-elasticity of the commodity changes over time. Since demand shocks must be absorbed either by changes in prices, or by changes in supply, time-varying supply-elasticity results in time-varying volatility of futures prices. Calibrating this model, we show it is quantitatively consistent with the aforementioned %u201CV-shape%u201D relation between the volatility of futures prices and the slope of the term-structure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11509.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Leonid Kogan, Dmitry Livdan and Amir Yaron. Journal of Finance, 2009, vol. 64, issue 3, pages 1345-1375
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11509

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  1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
  2. Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1997. " The Stochastic Behavior of Commodity Prices: Implications for Valuation and Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 923-73, July.
  3. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
  4. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 1991. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521326162, April.
  5. Bryan Routledge & Duane Seppi & Chester Spatt, . "Equilibrium Forward Curves for Commodities," GSIA Working Papers 1997-49, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23, January.
  7. John C.B. Cooper, 2003. "Price elasticity of demand for crude oil: estimates for 23 countries," OPEC Energy Review, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, vol. 27(1), pages 1-8, 03.
  8. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1993. "Simulated Moments Estimation of Markov Models of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 929-52, July.
  9. Jaime Casassus & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Bryan R. Routledge, . "Equilibrium Commodity Prices with Irreversible Investment and Non-Linear Technologies," GSIA Working Papers 2004-E54, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
  11. Lester G. Telser, 1958. "Futures Trading and the Storage of Cotton and Wheat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 233.
  12. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Lanza, Alessandro & Manera, Matteo & McAleer, Michael, 2006. "Modeling dynamic conditional correlations in WTI oil forward and futures returns," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 114-132, June.
  2. Razvan Tudor, 2009. "Evidence of unspanned stochastic volatility in crude-oil market," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 33, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.
  3. Fink, Jason D. & Fink, Kristin E. & Russell, Allison, 2010. "When and how do tropical storms affect markets? The case of refined petroleum," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1283-1290, November.
  4. Murray Carlson & Zeigham Khokher & Sheridan Titman, 2006. "Equilibrium Exhaustible Resource Price Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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