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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2012
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Book description

Commodities have become an important component of many investors' portfolios and the focus of much political controversy over the past decade. This book utilizes structural models to provide a better understanding of how commodities' prices behave and what drives them. It exploits differences across commodities and examines a variety of predictions of the models to identify where they work and where they fail. The findings of the analysis are useful to scholars, traders and policy makers who want to better understand often puzzling - and extreme - movements in the prices of commodities from aluminium to oil to soybeans to zinc.


‘Craig Pirrong is one of the most thoughtful scholars working on commodity markets today and he combines an understanding of finance, statistics, and economics in a way that is rare. His book presents a focused and convincing message concerning the advantages of using a structural approach to modeling commodity prices. The interplay between modeling and empirical validation is excellent and provides considerable insight on how commodity prices work and why they work the way they do.’

Paul Fackler - North Carolina State University

‘This book provides a rigorous and much-needed analysis of the economics of commodity markets. In contrast to the histrionics reflected in today's headlines, the analysis is based on the firm foundation provided by the rational model of commodity storage. The basic model is explained in terms that are accessible to anyone with a working knowledge of basic economics, a considerable contribution in itself. Readers will especially appreciate the thorough discussion of failures of the model under various conditions and what this implies for our understanding of commodity markets. Pithy comments that are sprinkled throughout the book highlight key points. Researchers, market participants, and policy makers can all benefit handsomely by reading this book.’

Scott Irwin - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

‘Pirrong's book is a rich and thorough treatment of dynamic models of commodity price determination, particularly metals prices.’

Kenneth J. Singleton - Stanford University

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