This paper is a theoretical investigation of equilibrium forward and futures prices. We construct a rational expectations model in continuous time of a multigood, identical consumer economy with constant stochastic returns to scale production. Using this model we find three main results. First, we find formulas for equilibrium forward, futures, discount bond, commodity bond and commodity option prices. Second, we show that a futures price is actually a forward price for the delivery of a random number of units of a good; the random number is the return earned from continuous reinvestment in instantaneously riskless bonds until maturity of the futures contract. Third, we find and interpret conditions under which normal backwardation or contango is found in forward or futures prices; these conditions reflect the usefulness of forward and futures contracts as consumption hedges.
Sundaresan, M. Suresh, and Scott F. Richard. "A Continuous Time Equilibrium Model of Forward Prices and Futures Prices in a Multigood Economy." Journal of Financial Economics 9, no. 4 (December 1981): 347-71.
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