State Trading Companies, Time Inconsistency, Imperfect Enforceability and Reputation

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1998-04-01
Authors
Melkonian, Tigran
Johnson, Stanley
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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Strategic trade in international markets is important for agricultural and other basic commodities. State trading companies (STCs) and large private firms control most of the trade volume. In this study the authors use concepts of modern game theory to treat time inconsistency issues associated with strategic trade. The results are particularly applicable to trade in commodities with lengthy production periods, such as agriculture. The model considered here provides an important context for exploring impacts of signaling, reputation, and third party interventions that approximate the institutions and authorities that govern international trade.

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