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The Present Value Model of Rational Commodity Pricing

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  • Robert S. Pindyck

Abstract

The present value model relates an asset's price to the sum of its discounted expected future payoffs. I explore the limits of the model by testing its ability to explain the pricing of storable commodities. For commodities the payoff stream is the convenience yield that accrues from holding inventories, and it can be measured directly from spot and futures prices. Hence the model imposes restrictions on the joint dynamics of spot and futures prices, which I test for four commodities. I find close conformance to the model for heating oil, but not for copper or lumber, and especially not for gold. The pattern is the same for the serial dependence of excess returns, These results suggest that for three of the four commodities, prices at least temporarily deviate from fundamentals.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4083.

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Date of creation: May 1992
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Publication status: published as The Economic Journal, Vol. 103, No. 418, pp. 511-530 (May 1993).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4083

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  1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. " Business Cycles and the Behavior of Metals Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1075-93, December.
  2. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Scholarly Articles 3122490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  4. Cox, John C. & Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr. & Ross, Stephen A., 1981. "The relation between forward prices and futures prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 321-346, December.
  5. Pindyck, Robert S & Rotemberg, Julio J, 1993. "The Comovement of Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1073-1104, November.
  6. Dusak, Katherine, 1973. "Futures Trading and Investor Returns: An Investigation of Commodity Market Risk Premiums," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1387-1406, Nov.-Dec..
  7. James G. MacKinnon, 1990. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests," Working Papers 1227, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Pindyck, Robert S., 1990. "Inventories and the short-run dynamics of commodity prices," Working papers 3133-90., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Culter, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," Working papers 544, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  11. repec:fth:inseep:8909 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Mankiw, N.G. & Romer, D. & Shapiro, M.D., 1989. "Stock Market Forecastability And Volatility: A Statistical Appraisal," Papers 89-21, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  13. French, Kenneth R., 1983. "A comparison of futures and forward prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 311-342, November.
  14. Kahn, James A, 1992. "Why Is Production More Volatile Than Sales? Theory and Evidence on the Stockout-Avoidance Motive for Inventory-Holding," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 481-510, May.
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