Relaxing Competition Through Speculation: Committing to a Negative Supply Slope

Reprint No. 2015:47

Author(s): Pär Holmberg and Bert WillemsYear: 2015 Title: Journal of Economic Theory Volume (No.): 159 (September) Pages: 236–266
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

We demonstrate how commodity producers can take strategic speculative positions in derivatives markets to soften competition in the spot market. In our game, producers first choose a portfolio of call options and then compete in supply functions. In equilibrium, producers sell forward contracts and buy call options to commit to downward sloping supply functions. Although this strategy is risky, it is profitable because it reduces the elasticity of the residual demand of competitors who respond by increasing mark-ups.

Holmberg, Pär and Bert Willems (2015), "Relaxing Competition Through Speculation: Committing to a Negative Supply Slope". Journal of Economic Theory 159(September), 236–266.

Pär Holmberg


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