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Monopoly Behaviour with Speculative Storage

Author

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  • Sebastien Mitraille

    (Toulouse Business School)

  • Henry Thille

    () (University of Guelph)

Abstract

We analyze the effects of competitive storage when the production of the good is controlled by a monopolist. The existence of competitive storers serves to reduce the monopolist’s effective demand when speculators are selling and to increase it when they are buying. This results in the monopolist manipulating the frequency of stock-outs, and hence, the price-smoothing effects of competitive storage. We use a two-period model to show that there is a lower probability of a stock-out under a monopolist than in a perfectly competitive market. We find that there exist states of the world in which the monopolist prices higher on average than what would occur in the absence of speculators. We then extend the model to an infinite horizon to examine the implications for price volatility using collocation methods to approximate both the expected future price and the expected value function. We confirm that stock-outs occur less frequently under the monopolist, even though price is more volatile. We also demonstrate that while free entry by speculators does reduce the gap in price volatility, it does not remove it.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastien Mitraille & Henry Thille, 2008. "Monopoly Behaviour with Speculative Storage," Working Papers 0804, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2008-4
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    File URL: http://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/repec/workingpapers/2008/2008-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, January.
    2. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399, December.
    3. Miranda, Mario J, 1998. "Numerical Strategies for Solving the Nonlinear Rational Expectations Commodity Market Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 11(1-2), pages 71-87, April.
    4. Anderson, Ronald W & Gilbert, Christopher L, 1988. "Commodity Agreements and Commodity Markets: Lessons from Tin," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 1-15, March.
    5. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23.
    6. José A. Scheinkman & Jack Schechtman, 1983. "A Simple Competitive Model with Production and Storage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 427-441.
    7. John McLaren, 1999. "Speculation on Primary Commodities: The Effects of Restricted Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 853-871.
    8. Thille, Henry, 2006. "Inventories, market structure, and price volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1081-1104, July.
    9. Newbery, David M, 1984. "Commodity Price Stabilization in Imperfect or Cartelized Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 563-578, May.
    10. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
    11. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-1082, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Assa, Hirbod & Dabbous, Amal & Gospodinov, Nikolay, 2013. "A staggered pricing approach to modeling speculative storage: implications for commodity price dynamics," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2013-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    2. Martin Stürmer, 2013. "150 Years of Boom and Bust: What Drives Mineral Commodity Prices?," 2013 Papers pst529, Job Market Papers.
    3. Mitraille, Sébastien & Thille, Henry, 2014. "Speculative storage in imperfectly competitive markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 44-59.
    4. Sebastien Mitraille & Henry Thille, 2015. "Speculative Constraints on Oligopoly," Working Papers 1505, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    5. Sebastien Mitraille & Henry Thille, 2017. "Strategic advance sales, demand uncertainty and overcommitment," Working Papers 1708, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    6. repec:eee:ecosta:v:4:y:2017:i:c:p:39-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Oglend, Atle & Kleppe, Tore Selland, 2017. "On the behavior of commodity prices when speculative storage is bounded," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 52-69.

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