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A Utility Based Approach to Energy Hedging


  • John Cotter
  • Jim Hanly


A key issue in the estimation of energy hedges is the hedgers' attitude towards risk which is encapsulated in the form of the hedgers' utility function. However, the literature typically uses only one form of utility function such as the quadratic when estimating hedges. This paper addresses this issue by estimating and applying energy market based risk aversion to commonly applied utility functions including log, exponential and quadratic, and we incorporate these in our hedging frameworks. We find significant differences in the optimal hedge strategies based on the utility function chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • John Cotter & Jim Hanly, 2011. "A Utility Based Approach to Energy Hedging," Papers 1103.5973,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1103.5973

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bollerslev, Tim & Engle, Robert F & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1988. "A Capital Asset Pricing Model with Time-Varying Covariances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 116-131, February.
    2. David Cabedo, J. & Moya, Ismael, 2003. "Estimating oil price 'Value at Risk' using the historical simulation approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 239-253, May.
    3. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    4. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, March.
    5. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Cumby, Robert E & Figlewski, Stephen, 1988. "Estimation of the Optimal Futures Hedge," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 623-630, November.
    6. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2005. "There is a risk-return trade-off after all," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 509-548, June.
    7. K. C. Chen & R. Stephen Sears & Dah‚ÄźNein Tzang, 1987. "Oil prices and energy futures," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 501-518, October.
    8. Brandt, Michael W. & Wang, Kevin Q., 2003. "Time-varying risk aversion and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1457-1498, October.
    9. Kroner, Kenneth F. & Sultan, Jahangir, 1993. "Time-Varying Distributions and Dynamic Hedging with Foreign Currency Futures," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 535-551, December.
    10. Regnier, Eva, 2007. "Oil and energy price volatility," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 405-427, May.
    11. Cotter, John & Hanly, Jim, 2010. "Time-varying risk aversion: An application to energy hedging," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 432-441, March.
    12. Giovannini, Alberto & Jorion, Philippe, 1989. " The Time Variation of Risk and Return in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 307-325, June.
    13. Engle, Robert F & Lilien, David M & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "Estimating Time Varying Risk Premia in the Term Structure: The Arch-M Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 391-407, March.
    14. Ederington, Louis H, 1979. "The Hedging Performance of the New Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(1), pages 157-170, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cotter, John & Hanly, Jim, 2015. "Performance of utility based hedges," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 718-726.
    2. repec:eee:eneeco:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:174-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dinica, Mihai Cristian & Armeanu, Daniel, 2014. "The Optimal Hedging Ratio for Non-Ferrous Metals," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 105-122, March.
    4. Devine, Mel & Farrell, Niall & Lee, William, 2014. "Managing investor and consumer exposure to electricity market price risks through Feed-in Tariff design," MPRA Paper 59208, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:aen:journl:ej38-3-hanly is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Conlon, Thomas & Cotter, John, 2013. "Downside risk and the energy hedger's horizon," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 371-379.
    7. Charalampous, Georgios & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Risk Management and Portfolio Optimization for Gas- and Coal-fired Power Plants in Germany: A Multivariate GARCH Approach," FCN Working Papers 23/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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