NBER Working Papers by Brian Wright

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Working Papers

May 2013Bubble Troubles? Rational Storage, Mean Reversion and Runs in Commodity Prices.
with Eugenio S. A. Bobenrieth, Juan R. A. Bobenrieth: w19037
High and volatile prices of major commodities have generated a wide array of analyses and policy prescriptions, including influential studies identifying price bubbles in periods of high volatility. Here we consider a model of the market for a storable commodity in which price expectations are unbounded. We derive its implications for price time series and empirical tests of price behavior. In this model commodity price is equal to marginal consumption value, and hence bubbles as defined in financial economics cannot occur. However the model generates episodes of price runs that could be characterized as "explosive" and might seem to be bubble-like. At sufficiently long holding periods, a price path can yield average returns consistent with mean reversion, even though the long run expectat...

Published: Bubble Troubles? Rational Storage, Mean Reversion, and Runs in Commodity Prices, Eugenio S. A. Bobenrieth, Juan R. A. Bobenrieth, Brian D. Wright. in The Economics of Food Price Volatility, Chavas, Hummels, and Wright. 2014

March 2010Agricultural Innovation
with Tiffany M. Shih: w15793
The achievements in agricultural innovation over the past century have been impressive, supporting large increases in agricultural yields and low food prices. Critical to this success has been sustained public sector investment combined with a decentralized and competitive research system in the US. Recent intellectual property reforms motivated increased private investment, yet the private sector still relies upon basic research produced by the public sector. Problems with scientific freedom to operate as well as concentration in the agricultural biotechnology industry also emerged due to intellectual property rights. For new technologies, the case of agriculture demonstrates that government has an important role in antitrust, the effective and efficient regulation of technologies, and in...

Published: Agricultural Innovation, Tiffany Shih, Brian Wright. in Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors, Henderson and Newell. 2011

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