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Do Agricultural Market Advisory Services Beat the Market? Evidence from the Corn and Soybean Markets Over 1995-1997

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The purpose of this paper is to address two basic performance questions for market advisory services: 1) Do market advisory services, on average, outperform an appropriate market benchmark? and 2) Do market advisory services exhibit persistence in their performance from year-to-year? Data on corn and soybean net price received for advisory services, as reported by the AgMAS Project, are available for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 marketing years. Performance test results suggest that, on average, market advisory services exhibit a small ability to “beat the market” for the 1995 through 1997 corn and soybean crops. This conclusion is somewhat sensitive to the type of performance test and market benchmark considered. The predictability results provide little evidence that future advisory service pricing performance can be predicted from past performance. When services are grouped by performance quantile, some evidence of predictability is found for the poorest performing services, but not for top performing services.

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