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The Role of Heterogeneous Agents in Fuel Markets: Testing Tales of Speculators in Oil Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Fritz

    ()

  • Michael Stein

    ()

  • Christoph Weber

    () (Chair for Management Sciences and Energy Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract

This study investigates the role of heterogeneous agents in oil markets and tests tales of speculators in oil price formation. Results obtained from using a non-linear heterogeneous agent model suggest that oil market prices are driven by different groups of speculators, namely fundamentalists, chartists and the newly introduced contrarians. The latter enable us to disentangle stabilizing effects previously attributed solely to fundamentalists, and they are on average the most dominating group, whereas chartists exacerbate the huge price swings in 1990, 2008 and 2011. We also show how sensitive the model outcomes are to the specification of the fundamental value, what has strong economic implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Fritz & Michael Stein & Christoph Weber, 2015. "The Role of Heterogeneous Agents in Fuel Markets: Testing Tales of Speculators in Oil Markets," EWL Working Papers 1505, University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair for Management Science and Energy Economics, revised Aug 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:dui:wpaper:1505
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
    2. Matthijs Lof, 2015. "Rational Speculators, Contrarians, and Excess Volatility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(8), pages 1889-1901, August.
    3. Stefan Reitz & Frank Westerhoff, 2007. "Commodity price cycles and heterogeneous speculators: a STAR–GARCH model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 231-244, September.
    4. Ron Alquist and Olivier Gervais, 2013. "The Role of Financial Speculation in Driving the Price of Crude Oil," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    5. Bassam Fattouh, Lutz Kilian, and Lavan Mahadeva, 2013. "The Role of Speculation in Oil Markets: What Have We Learned So Far?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    6. Boswijk, H. Peter & Hommes, Cars H. & Manzan, Sebastiano, 2007. "Behavioral heterogeneity in stock prices," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1938-1970, June.
    7. Lof, Matthijs, 2012. "Heterogeneity in stock prices: A STAR model with multivariate transition function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 1845-1854.
    8. Robert S. Pindyck, 1999. "The Long-Run Evolutions of Energy Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-27.
    9. Reitz, Stefan & Rülke, Jan & Stadtmann, Georg, 2012. "Nonlinear Expectations in Speculative Markets," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62045, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Ellen, Saskia ter & Zwinkels, Remco C.J., 2010. "Oil price dynamics: A behavioral finance approach with heterogeneous agents," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1427-1434, November.
    11. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
    12. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    13. Stefan Reitz & Ulf Slopek, 2009. "Non-Linear Oil Price Dynamics: A Tale of Heterogeneous Speculators?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 270-283, August.
    14. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Ullman, Ben, 2009. "Oil prices, speculation, and fundamentals: Interpreting causal relations among spot and futures prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 550-558, July.
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    Keywords

    Energy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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