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Ambiguity and the Value of Hedging

Kit Pong Wong

Journal of Futures Markets, 2015, vol. 35, issue 9, 839-848

Abstract: This paper examines the optimal production and hedging decisions of the competitive firm under price uncertainty when the firm's preferences exhibit smooth ambiguity aversion and an unbiased forward hedging opportunity is available. Ambiguity is modeled by a second‐order probability distribution that captures the firm's uncertainty about which of the subjective beliefs govern the price risk. Ambiguity preferences are modeled by the (second‐order) expectation of a concave transformation of the (first‐order) expected utility of profit conditional on each plausible subjective distribution of the price risk. Within this framework, the separation and full‐hedging theorems remain intact. Banning the firm from trading its output forward at the unbiased forward price has adverse effect on the firm's production decision. The firm finds the unbiased forward hedging opportunity more valuable in the presence than in the absence of ambiguity. Furthermore, the value of hedging increases when the firm's beliefs are more ambiguous, or when the firm becomes more ambiguity averse. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 35:839–848, 2015

Date: 2015
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