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Do farmers exhibit disposition effect? Evidence from grain markets


  • Fabio L. Mattos
  • Stefanie A. Fryza


Purpose - – The purpose of this paper is to explore the existence of disposition effect among Canadian wheat farmers when marketing their grain. This study examines the question of whether farmers wait too long to price their grain or whether they price it too soon. Design/methodology/approach - – The disposition effect is a common behavior documented in financial markets, and reflects the notion that investors tend to hold losing positions too long and close winning positions too fast. This idea can also be applied to grain marketing, exploring whether farmers sell their grain more readily when prices are “high” and wait longer when prices are “low.” Based on the approach by Odean (1998), marketing strategies of 15,564 farmers between 2003/2004 and 2008/2009 are examined. Findings - – Results support the existence of disposition effect in marketing decisions. Farmers seem to be eager to sell when prices offered by contracts are above their reference price and wait longer to sell when prices offered by contracts are below their reference price. There is no clear evidence that farmers might consistently benefit from this behavior. On the other hand, it is not clear whether this behavior can be costly to farmers. Originality/value - – Exploring the existence of disposition effect is relevant because this behavior can affect performance. If grain is sold too early, farmers can miss opportunities to sell at higher prices later. If grain is held too long, prices can go down and farmers will end up selling at lower prices. This study uses unique data to perform the first analysis of the disposition effect in the agricultural industry, and its findings can provide new insights and move us toward a more complete understanding of decision making in this industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio L. Mattos & Stefanie A. Fryza, 2014. "Do farmers exhibit disposition effect? Evidence from grain markets," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 487-505, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:40:y:2014:i:5:p:487-505

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    Cited by:

    1. Vollmer, Elisabeth & Hermann, Daniel & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2017. "The disposition effect in farmers' selling behavior – an experimental investigation," Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (DARE) Discussion Papers 260767, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    2. repec:bla:agecon:v:50:y:2019:i:2:p:177-189 is not listed on IDEAS


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