Many industries are exposed to weather risk. Weather derivatives can play a key role in hedging and diversifying such risk because the uncertainty in a company’s profit function can be correlated to weather condition which affects diverse industry sectors differently. Unfortunately the weather derivatives market is a classical example of an incomplete market that is not amenable to standard methodologies used for derivative pricing in complete markets. In this paper, we develop an equilibrium pricing model for weather derivatives in a multi-commodity setting. The model is constructed in the context of a stylized economy where agents optimize their hedging portfolios which include weather derivatives that are issued in a fixed quantity by a financial underwriter. The supply and demand resulting from hedging activities and the supply by the underwriter are combined in an equilibrium pricing model under the assumption that all agents maximize some risk averse utility function. We analyze the gains due to the inclusion of weather derivatives in hedging portfolios and examine the components of that gain attributable to hedging and to risk sharing.
September 5, 2008
2008 Working Papers