Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (December 4, 2013)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2013] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


When we hear and talk about financial markets, the volatility of prices or returns is commonly adopted to discuss risk. It is common to hear in the news that markets have become more volatile (and hence riskier) in recent years. So let us take a look at the soybean market and explore how volatility has evolved over time. Figure 1 (on next page), shows daily nearby futures prices for soybeans between July 1959 and May 2013. We’ll split the sample into four periods for our analysis: Aug/59–Jul/72; Aug/72–Jul/88; Aug/88–Jul/05; and Aug/05–May/13.