Essays on Efficiency of the Farm Credit System and Dynamic Correlations in Fossil Fuel Markets



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Markets have always changed in response to either exogenous or endogenous shocks. Many large events have occurred in financial and energy markets the last ten years. This dissertation examines market behavior and volatility in agricultural credit and fossil fuel markets under exogenous and endogenous changes in the last ten years. The efficiency of elements within the United States Farm Credit System, a major agricultural lender in the United States, and the dynamic correlation between coal, oil and natural gas prices, the three major fossil fuels, are examined.

The Farm Credit system is a key lender in the U.S. agricultural sector, and its performance can influence the performance of the agricultural sector. However, its efficiency in providing credit to the agricultural sector has not been recently examined. The first essay of the dissertation provides assessments on the performance of elements within the Farm Credit System by measuring their relative efficiency using a stochastic frontier model. The second essay addresses the changes in relationship in coal, oil, and natural gas markets with respect to changes and turbulence in the last decade, which has also not been fully addressed in literature. The updated assessment on the relative performance of entities within the Farm Credit System provides information that the Farm Credit Administration and U.S. policy makers can use in their management of and policy toward the Farm Credit System. The measurement of the changes in fossil fuel markets? relationships provides implications for energy investment, energy portfolio anagement, energy risk management, and energy security. It can also be used as a foundation for structuring forecasting models and other models related to energy markets. The dynamic correlations between coal, oil, and natural gas prices are examined using a dynamic conditional correlation multivariate autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (MGARCH DCC) model.

The estimated results show that the FCS?s five banks and associations with large assets have more efficiently produced credit to the U.S. agricultural sector than smaller sized associations. Management compensation is found to be positively associated with the system?s efficiency. More capital investment and monitoring along with possible consolidation are implied for smaller sized associations to enhance efficiency. On average, the results show that the efficiency of the associations is increasing over time while the average efficiency of the five large banks is more stable. Overall, the associations exhibit a higher variation of efficiency than the five banks.

In terms of energy markets the estimates from the MGARCH DCC model indicate significant and changing dynamic correlations and related volatility between the coal, oil, and natural gas prices. The coal price was found to experience more volatility and become more closely related to oil and natural gas prices in recent periods. The natural gas price was found to become more stable and drift away from its historical relationship with oil.