Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Excess volatility or volatile fundamentals? : the impact of financial speculation on commodity markets and implications for cocoa farmers in Ghana
Author: van Huellen, Sophie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 651X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The rising prices and high volatility in commodity markets, observed since 2002, have triggered a debate about whether these dynamics are in excess of what could be explained by market fundamentals alone. It has been argued by many that the price dynamics generated are linked to the behaviour of financial investors, in particular to that of a new class of investors known as index traders. This has given rise to two questions: firstly, what explains this high price volatility and, secondly, what are the implications of such price volatility for commodity producers? To answer the first question, this thesis investigates the relationships between dynamics in cash and futures prices, and between dynamics of futures with different maturities for selected grain and soft commodities using time series econometrics. By analysing the relationships between price series that follow common market fundamentals, price dynamics generated by non-market fundamental factors can be identified. To answer the second question, cocoa producers in Ghana were chosen for a case study, and semistructured interviews with stakeholders in the cocoa-chocolate chain were conducted. These interviews revealed the institutional structure of the cocoa chain and the nature of transactions across the different chain nodes. Chapter 1 contextualises the research and develops research questions. Chapter 2 presents a review of theoretical and empirical literature relevant to the first research question. Chapter 3 empirically tests assumptions about traders' behaviour underlying the relevant theories. Chapters 4 and 5 provide investigations into the influence of different investor groups on price dynamics in commodity futures markets. Chapter 6 presents an institutional theory for price relevant to the second research question. With reference to this theory, Chapter 7 discusses the case of the Ghanaian cocoa sector. Chapter 8 summarises key findings and discusses implications for theories and policies, as well as for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral