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Financialization of food - The determinants of the time-varying relation between agricultural prices and stock market dynamics


  • Girardi, Daniele


This paper studies the correlation of agricultural prices with stock market dynamics. We discuss the possible role of financial, macroeconomic and monetary factors in driving this time-varying relation, with the aim of understanding what has caused positive correlation between agricultural commodities and stocks in recent years. While previous works on commodity-equity correlation have focused on broad commodity indices, we study 16 main agricultural prices, in order to be able to assess patterns that are specific to agricultural commodities (but also differences across agricultural markets). We show that an explanation based on a combination of financialization and financial crisis is consistent with the empirical evidence, while global demand factors and monetary forces don't appear to play a significant role. In particular, we find that the correlation between agricultural price changes and stock market returns tends to get higher as the so-called TED spread (our proxy for financial turmoil) increases. Moreover, the impact of financial turmoil on the correlation gets stronger as the share of financial investors in agricultural derivatives markets (our proxy for financialization) rises. Our findings suggest that the influence of financial shocks on agricultural prices is likely to decrease as global financial tensions settle down but also that, as long as agricultural derivatives markets are populated mainly by financial investors, it can be expected to rise again when it is less needed, i.e. in the presence of new financial turmoil.

Suggested Citation

  • Girardi, Daniele, 2013. "Financialization of food - The determinants of the time-varying relation between agricultural prices and stock market dynamics," MPRA Paper 52043, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Nov 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52043

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christopher L. Gilbert, 2010. "How to Understand High Food Prices," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 398-425.
    2. Hong, Harrison & Yogo, Motohiro, 2012. "What does futures market interest tell us about the macroeconomy and asset prices?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 473-490.
    3. Schwert, G William & Seguin, Paul J, 1990. " Heteroskedasticity in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1129-1155, September.
    4. Silvennoinen, Annastiina & Thorp, Susan, 2013. "Financialization, crisis and commodity correlation dynamics," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 42-65.
    5. Engle, Robert F & Sheppard, Kevin K, 2001. "Theoretical and Empirical Properties of Dynamic Conditional Correlation Multivariate GARCH," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5s2218dp, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    6. 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.
    7. Gary Gorton & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2004. "Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures," NBER Working Papers 10595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    9. Ke Tang & Wei Xiong, 2010. "Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities," NBER Working Papers 16385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Working, Holbrook, 1960. "Speculation on Hedging Markets," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 02, May.
    11. Bicchetti, David & Maystre, Nicolas Maystre, 2013. "The synchronized and long-lasting structural change on commodity markets: Evidence from high frequency data," Algorithmic Finance, IOS Press, vol. 2(3-4), pages 233-239.
    12. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karol Szafranek, 2015. "Financialisation of the commodity markets. Conclusions from the VARX DCC GARCH," EcoMod2015 8554, EcoMod.

    More about this item


    financialization; agricultural prices; DCC; cross-market correlations;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture

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