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The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets: Too Much of a Good Thing?

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  • Dwight R. Sanders
  • Scott H. Irwin
  • Robert P. Merrin

Abstract

This paper revisits the "adequacy of speculation" debate in agricultural futures markets using the positions held by index funds in the Commitment of Traders reports. Index fund positions were a relatively stable percentage of total open interest from 2006--2010. Traditional speculative measures do not show any material shifts over the sample period. Even after adjusting speculative indices for commodity index fund positions, values are within the historical ranges reported in prior research. One implication is that long-only index funds may be beneficial in markets traditionally dominated by short hedging. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

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  • Dwight R. Sanders & Scott H. Irwin & Robert P. Merrin, 2010. "The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 77-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:77-94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Changyun Wang, 2003. "The behavior and performance of major types of futures traders," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 1-31, January.
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    7. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    8. Richard N. Cooper & Robert Z. Lawrence, 1975. "The 1972-75 Commodity Boom," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 671-724.
    9. Hardouvelis, Gikas A & Kim, Dongcheol, 1995. "Price Volatility and Futures Margins," CEPR Discussion Papers 1263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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