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Financialization and commodity prices -- an empirical analysis for coffee, cotton, wheat and oil

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  • Stefan Ederer
  • Christine Heumesser
  • Cornelia Staritz

Abstract

Commodity prices have crucial implications for developing countries. The question whether the financialization of commodity derivative markets has contributed to high and volatile commodity prices has been controversially debated. Building on limitations in the empirical literature, we estimate a multivariate Vector Autoregressive (VAR) model to assess the effect of different groups of financial investors (index investors and money managers) as well as fundamental and macroeconomic variables on the prices of coffee, cotton, wheat and oil. We find that, in contrast to index investors, money managers’ net long positions have a large statistically significant effect on commodity prices. This calls for policy interventions as commodity derivative markets may cease to perform their fundamental developmental roles.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Ederer & Christine Heumesser & Cornelia Staritz, 2016. "Financialization and commodity prices -- an empirical analysis for coffee, cotton, wheat and oil," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 462-487, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:462-487
    DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2015.1122745
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Dramane Coulibaly, 2011. "Index trading and agricultural commodity prices: A panel Granger causality analysis," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 126-127, pages 51-71.
    2. Alessandro Borin & Virginia Di Nino, 2012. "The role of financial investments in agricultural commodity derivatives markets," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 849, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Andrea Bastianin & Matteo Manera & Marcella Nicolini & Ilaria Vignati, 2012. "Speculation, Returns, Volume and Volatility in Commodities Futures Markets," Review of Environment, Energy and Economics - Re3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, January.
    4. Hamilton, James D. & Wu, Jing Cynthia, 2014. "Risk premia in crude oil futures prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 9-37.
    5. von Braun, Joachim & Tadesse, Getaw, 2012. "Global Food Price Volatility and Spikes: An Overview of Costs, Causes, and Solutions," Discussion Papers 120021, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    6. Symeonidis, Lazaros & Prokopczuk, Marcel & Brooks, Chris & Lazar, Emese, 2012. "Futures basis, inventory and commodity price volatility: An empirical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2651-2663.
    7. Bicchetti, David & Maystre, Nicolas Maystre, 2013. "The synchronized and long-lasting structural change on commodity markets: Evidence from high frequency data," Algorithmic Finance, IOS Press, vol. 2(3-4), pages 233-239.
    8. Hernandez, Manuel & Torero, Maximo, 2010. "Examining the dynamic relationship between spot and future prices of agricultural commodities," IFPRI discussion papers 988, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Adjemian, Michael K. & Janzen, Joseph & Carter, Colin A. & Smith, Aaron, 2014. "Deconstructing Wheat Price Spikes: A Model of Supply and Demand, Financial Speculation, and Commodity Price Comovement," Economic Research Report 167369, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vollmer, Teresa & von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan, 2019. "The influence of Brazilian exports on price transmission processes in the coffee sector: A Markov-switching approach," DARE Discussion Papers 1904, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    2. Baines, Joseph, 2017. "Accumulating through Food Crisis? Farmers, Commodity Traders and the Distributional Politics of Financialization," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-40.
    3. Geronimi, Vincent & Taranco, Armand, 2018. "Revisiting the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis of a secular decline in the terms of trade of primary commodities (1900–2016). A dynamic regime approach," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 329-339.
    4. von Arnim, Rudiger & Tröster, Bernhard & Staritz, Cornelia & Raza, Werner, 2018. "Commodity price shocks and the distribution of income in commodity-dependent least-developed countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 434-451.
    5. Küblböck, Karin, 2017. "Handlungsfähig? Zur Rolle von Handelspolitik für rohstoffbasierte Entwicklung," Briefing Papers 16, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    6. Cornelia Staritz & Susan Newman & Bernhard Tröster & Leonhard Plank, 2018. "Financialization and Global Commodity Chains: Distributional Implications for Cotton in Sub†Saharan Africa," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 49(3), pages 815-842, May.

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