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Explaining the Persistence of Commodity Prices

  • NG, Serena
  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

This paper extends the Competitive Storage Model by incorporating prominent features of the production process and financial markets. A major limitation of this basic model is that it cannot successfully explain the degree of serial correlation observed in actual data. The proposed extensions build on the observation that in order to generate a high degree of price persistence, a model must incorporate features such that agents are willing to hold stocks more often than predicted by the basic model. We therefore allow unique characteristics of the production and trading mechanisms to provide the required incentives. Specifically, the proposed models introduce (i) gestation lags in production with heteroskedastic supply shocks, (ii) multiperiod forward contracts, and (iii) a convenience return to inventory holding. The rational expectations solutions for twelve commodities are numerically solved. Simulations are then employed to assess the effects of the above extensions on the time series properties of commodity prices. Results indicate that each of the features above partially account for the persistence and occasional spikes observed in actual data. Evidence is presented that the precautionary demand for stocks might play a substantial role in the dynamics of commodity prices.

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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9709.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:9709
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  1. Bryan Routledge & Duane Seppi & Chester Spatt, . "Equilibrium Forward Curves for Commodities," GSIA Working Papers 1997-49, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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  4. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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  6. Gustafson, Robert L., 1958. "Carryover levels for grains: A method for determining amounts that are optimal under specified conditions," Technical Bulletins 157231, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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  8. Pindyck, Robert S., 1991. "The present value model of rational commodity pricing," Working papers 3354-91., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. 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.
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  12. Gibson, Rajna & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1990. " Stochastic Convenience Yield and the Pricing of Oil Contingent Claims," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 959-76, July.
  13. 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.
  14. den Haan, Wouter J & Marcet, Albert, 1990. "Solving the Stochastic Growth Model by Parameterizing Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 31-34, January.
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  17. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  18. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399, November.
  19. Newbery, David M G & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "Optimal Commodity Stock-piling Rules," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 403-27, November.
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