# Price transmission notions and components and the impact of food policies

Price transmission notions and components and the impact of food policies

Given prices for a commodity in two spatially separated markets p1t and p2t, the Law of One Price and the Enke-Samuelson-Takayama-Judge model postulate that at all points of time, allowing for transfer costs c, for transporting the commodity from market 1 to market 2, the relationship between the prices is as follows: p1t = p2t + c (1) If a relationship between two prices, such as (1), holds, the markets can be said to be integrated. However, this extreme case may be unlikely to occur, especially in the short run. At the other end of the spectrum, if the joint distribution of two prices were found to be completely

Depending on market characteristics. then one might feel comfortable saying that there is no market integration and no price transmission. In general. the prices may drift apart. If two spatially separated price series are cointegrated.independent. the two price series may behave in a plethora of ways. Cointegration can be thought of as the empirical counterpart of the theoretical notion of a long run equilibrium relationship. as shocks in one market may not be instantaneously transmitted to other markets or due to delays in transport. but spatial arbitrage will cause the difference between the two prices to move towards the transfer cost. In the short run. The spatial arbitrage condition implies that market integration lends itself to a cointegration interpretation with its presence being evaluated by means of cointegration tests. The spatial arbitrage condition encompasses price relationships that lie between the two extreme cases of the strong form of the Law of One Price and the absence of market integration. spatial arbitrage is expected to ensure that prices of a commodity will differ by an amount that is at most equal to the transfer costs with the relationship between the prices being identified as the following inequality: p2t . the strong form being characterized by equality (1). however.p1t£ c (2) Fackler and Goodwin (2001) refer to the above relationship as the spatial arbitrage condition and postulate that it identifies a weak form of the Law of One Price. arbitration opportunities ensure that these divergences from the underlying long run (equilibrium) relationship are transitory and not permanent. having quite complex relationships with prices . or the distortions to which markets are subject. there is a tendency for them to co-move in the long run according to a linear relationship. They also emphasize that relationship (2) represents an equilibrium condition. Observed prices may diverge from relationship (1).

spatially separated markets are integrated. the number of stages in marketing and the corresponding contractual arrangements between economic agents. but after some time. but complete in the long run. Both the extent of completeness and the speed of the adjustment can be asymmetric. The distinction between short run and long run price transmission is important and the speed by which prices adjust to their long run relationship is essential in understanding the extent to which markets are integrated in the short run. price transmission is incomplete in the short run. · dynamics and speed of adjustment which implies the process by. Balcombe and Morisson. as postulated by the Law of One Price presented by relationship (1). the concept of price transmission can be thought of as being based on three notions. 1998. 2002). and rate at which. Within this context. or components (Prakash. Changes in the price at one market may need some time to be transmitted to other markets for various reasons. this definition implies that if price changes are not passed-through instantaneously. . · asymmetry of response which implies that upward and downward movements in the price in one market are symmetrically or asymmetrically transmitted to the other. or slowly rather than instantaneously and according to various dynamic structures or being related in a non linear manner. such as policies. Given the wide range of ways prices may be related. and. changes in prices in one market are filtered to the other market or levels. In this case. In addition.adjusting less than completely. as implied by the spatial arbitrage condition. These are: · co-movement and completeness of adjustment which implies that changes in prices in one market are fully transmitted to the other at all points of time. complete price transmission between two spatially separated markets is defined as a situation where changes in one price are completely and instantaneously transmitted to the other price.

storage and inventory holding. . or "price-levelling" practices. delays caused in transportation or processing.