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An analysis of the stabilizing and welfare effects of intervention in spot and futures markets

  • Campbell, Robert B.
  • Turnovsky, Stephen J.

This paper analyzes the effects of three alternative rules on the long-run distributions of both the spot and futures prices ina single commodity market, in which the key behavioral relationships are derived from the optimizing behavior of producers and speculators.The rules considered include: (i) leaning against the wind in the spot market; (ii) utility maximizing speculative behavior by the stabilization authority in the futures market; (iii) leaning against the wind in the futures market. Since the underlying model is sufficiently complex to preclude analytical solutions, the analysis makes extensive use of simulation methods. As a general proposition we find that intervention in the futures market is not as effective in stabilizing either the spot price of the futures price as is intervention in the spot market. Indeed, Rule (iii), while stabilizing the futures price may actually destabilize the spot price. Furthermore, the analogous type of rule undertaken in the spot market will always stabilize the futures price to a greater degree than it does the spot price. The welfare implications of these rules are also discussed. Our analysis shows how these can generate rather different distributions of welfare gains, including the overall benefits.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (1985)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 165-209

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:28:y:1985:i:2:p:165-209
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1983. "The Determination of Spot and Futures Prices with Storable Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1363-87, September.
  2. Kawai, Masahiro, 1983. "Price Volatility of Storable Commodities under Rational Expectations in Spot and Futures Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(2), pages 435-59, June.
  3. Turnovsky, Stephen J & Campbell, Robert B, 1985. "The Stabilizing and Welfare Properties of Futures Markets: A Simulation Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 277-303, June.
  4. Rolfo, Jacques, 1980. "Optimal Hedging under Price and Quantity Uncertainty: The Case of a Cocoa Producer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 100-116, February.
  5. Newbery, D M G & Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "The Theory of Commodity Price Stabilisation Rules: Welfare Impacts and Supply Responses," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 799-817, December.
  6. McCafferty, Stephen & Driskill, Robert, 1980. "Problems of Existence and Uniqueness in Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1313-17, July.
  7. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Schmitz, Andrew, 1980. "Futures Markets and the Theory of the Firm under Price Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 317-28, March.
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