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HOARD BEHAVIOR DURING COMMODITY BUBBLES

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Hoarding, the accumulation of inventories in the midst of high prices, is often blamed for causing commodity market panics and bubbles but evidence on hoarding is lacking. Using supermarket scanner data on US household purchases during the 2008 Rice Bubble, we document systemic household hoarding when export bans led to a spike in prices worldwide in the first half of 2008. Anticipating shortages, US households with previous purchases of rice, especially those of Asian ethnicity, nearly doubled their buying around the peak of the bubble. We document transmission mechanisms through over-extrapolation from high prices and contagion, as many households bought rice for the first and last time during the bubble.

This talk is part of the Finance & Accounting Seminar Series series.

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