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Speculative Constraints on Oligopoly

Listed author(s):
  • Sebastien Mitraille

    ()

    (Toulouse Business School, University of Toulouse)

  • Henry Thille

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Guelph)

We examine an infinite horizon game in which producers’ output can be purchased by speculators for resale in a future period. The existence of speculators serves to constrain the feasible set of prices that can result from producers’ output game in each period. Absent speculation, producers play a repeated Cournot game with random demand. With speculative inventories possible, the game becomes a dynamic one in which speculative stocks are a state variable which firms can control via their influence on price. We employ collocation methods to find the unknown expected price and value functions required for computation of equilibrium quantities. We demonstrate that strategic considerations result in an incentive to sell to speculators that is nonmonotonic in the number of producers: speculation has the largest effect on equilibrium prices and welfare for market structures intermediate between monopoly and perfect competition. Using a computed example, we demonstrate that the effect of speculative storage on the average price level can be substantial, even though the effects on social welfare can be ambiguous.

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File URL: http://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/repec/workingpapers/2015/2015-05.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 1505.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2015-05
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1

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Fax: (519) 763-8497
Web page: https://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/

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  1. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23.
  2. Thille, Henry, 2006. "Inventories, market structure, and price volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1081-1104, July.
  3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, July.
  4. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399.
  5. Mitraille, Sébastien & Thille, Henry, 2009. "Monopoly behaviour with speculative storage," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1451-1468, July.
  6. Renee Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent, 2010. "Inflation in an Era of Relative Pirce Shocks," CAMA Working Papers 2010-38, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  7. James L. Smith, 2009. "World Oil: Market or Mayhem?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 145-164, Summer.
  8. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
  9. Lutz Kilian & Daniel P. Murphy, 2014. "The Role Of Inventories And Speculative Trading In The Global Market For Crude Oil," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 454-478, 04.
  10. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
  11. Mitraille, Sébastien & Thille, Henry, 2014. "Speculative storage in imperfectly competitive markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 44-59.
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