Do Farmers Hedge Optimally or by Habit? A Bayesian Partial-Adjustment Model of Farmer Hedging

Hedging is one of the most important risk management decisions that farmers make and has a potentially large role in the level of profit eventually earned from farming. Using panel data from a survey of Georgia farmers that recorded their hedging decisions for four years on three crops we examine the role of habit, demographics, farm characteristics, and information sources on the hedging decisions made by 106 different farmers. We find that the role of habit varies widely. Information sources are shown to have significant and large effects on the chosen hedge ratios. The farmer's education level, attitude toward technology adoption, farm profitability, and the ratio of acres owned to acres farmed also play important roles in hedging decisions.

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2008 NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management

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