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The Present Value Model of Rational Commodity Pricing

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  • Robert S. Pindyck

Abstract

The present value model relates an asset's price to the sum of its discounted expected future payoffs. I explore the limits of the model by testing its ability to explain the pricing of storable commodities. For commodities the payoff stream is the convenience yield that accrues from holding inventories, and it can be measured directly from spot and futures prices. Hence the model imposes restrictions on the joint dynamics of spot and futures prices, which I test for four commodities. I find close conformance to the model for heating oil, but not for copper or lumber, and especially not for gold. The pattern is the same for the serial dependence of excess returns, These results suggest that for three of the four commodities, prices at least temporarily deviate from fundamentals.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Pindyck, 1992. "The Present Value Model of Rational Commodity Pricing," NBER Working Papers 4083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4083
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert S. Pindyck & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1993. "The Comovement of Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1073-1104.
    2. Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Inventories and the Short-Run Dynamics of Commodity Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 141-159, Spring.
    3. repec:crs:wpaper:8909 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1991. "Stock Market Forecastability and Volatility: A Statistical Appraisal," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 455-477.
    5. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
    6. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23.
    7. James A. Kahn, 1992. "Why is Production More Volatile than Sales? Theory and Evidence on the Stockout-Avoidance Motive for Inventory-Holding," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 481-510.
    8. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 529-546.
    9. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-1088, October.
    10. French, Kenneth R., 1983. "A comparison of futures and forward prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 311-342, November.
    11. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. " Business Cycles and the Behavior of Metals Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1075-1093, December.
    12. repec:hoo:wpaper:91-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Cox, John C. & Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr. & Ross, Stephen A., 1981. "The relation between forward prices and futures prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 321-346, December.
    14. James G. MacKinnon, 1990. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests," Working Papers 1227, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    15. Dusak, Katherine, 1973. "Futures Trading and Investor Returns: An Investigation of Commodity Market Risk Premiums," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1387-1406, Nov.-Dec..
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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