Revisiting the competitive storage model as a tool for the empirical analysis of commodity price volatility

21 November 2016 par dans News, Training

PhD thesis written by Nicolas Legrand under the direction of Alain Ayong le Kama and Stéphane de Cara. Submitted and supported at the institute of life sciences and industries and environment on November 21, 2016.

Nicolas Legrand joined TERA Consultants in 2016 where he is involved in several missions in litigation, concentration and damages assessment. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering. He wrote a thesis entitled “Revisiting the competitive storage model as a tool for the empirical analysis of commodity price volatility”. He also holds a Master degreee in Energy and Environmental Economics.


Many agricultural commodities are experiencing significant prices fluctuations. This price volatility hurts poor consumers and farmers, and is a potential source of social unrest. Since the 2007/2008 food crisis, this issue is part of the priorities of the national as well as international policy agenda. However, the development and implementation of appropriate and effective policies accounting for this price instability requires the identification of the causes of agricultural prices dynamics. The objective of this thesis is to determine the different causes of price volatility with statistical tools. It will focus on structural explanations of price instability. Structural models explain price volatility by modeling maximizing agents who have to cope with stochastic shocks such as weather events, energy prices or biofuels policies. An objective is to identify the most important factors to explain price fluctuations in this structural framework. These models statistical estimation should then permit to analyze quantitatively various agricultural and food policies.

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