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Stationarity changes in long-run energy commodity prices

Author

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  • Zaklan, Aleksandar
  • Abrell, Jan
  • Neumann, Anne

Abstract

Situated at the intersection of the literatures on speculative storage and non-renewable commodity scarcity, this paper considers whether changes in persistence have occurred in long-run U.S. prices of the energy commodities crude oil, natural gas and bituminous coal. We allow for a structural break when testing for a break in persistence to avoid a change in the stochastic properties of prices being confounded by an unaccounted-for deterministic shift in the price series. We find that coal prices are trend stationary throughout their evolution and that oil prices change from stationarity to non-stationarity in the decade between the late 1960s to late 1970s. The result on gas prices is ambiguous. Our results demonstrate the importance of accounting for a possible structural shift when testing for breaks in persistence, while being robust to the exact date of the structural break. Based on our analysis we caution against viewing long-run energy commodity prices as being non-stationary and conclude in favor of modeling commodity market fundamentals as stationary, meaning that speculative storage will tend to have a dampening effect on prices. We also cannot reject that long-run prices of coal and, with some hesitation, gas follow a Hotelling-type rule. In contrast, we reject the Hotelling rule for oil prices since the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Suggested Citation

  • Zaklan, Aleksandar & Abrell, Jan & Neumann, Anne, 2016. "Stationarity changes in long-run energy commodity prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 96-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:59:y:2016:i:c:p:96-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.07.022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Non-renewable commodity prices; Competitive storage; Resource scarcity; Stationarity; Structural breaks;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q35 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Hydrocarbon Resources
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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