Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Comments on Pricing and Risk Management Instruments of the Future : What are the Analytical Needs
    Pennings, J.M.E. - \ 2002
    In: Annual Office for Futures and Options Research Symposium: in honor of Raymond M. Leuthold and in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the IMM, Chicago, May 16, 2002
    A Behavioral Approach towards Futures Contract Usage
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2001
    Australian Economic Papers 40 (2001)4. - ISSN 0004-900X - p. 461 - 478.
    We propose a behavioural decision-making model to investigate what factors, observable as well as unobservable, owner-managers consider regarding futures contract usage. The conceptual model consists of two phases, reflecting the two-stage decision structure of manager's use of futures. In the first phase owner-managers consider whether futures are within the market choice set for the enterprise. In the second phase the owner-manager decides whether or not to initiate a futures position when confronted with a concrete choice situation. In both phases owner-manager's beliefs and perceptions play an important role. The proposed model is tested on a data set of Dutch farmers, based on computer-assisted personal interviews. Because we incorporate latent variables (e.g., perceptions and beliefs) in both phases, we propose an estimation procedure that takes the measurement error of these latent variables explicitly into account. The implications of the behavioural decision-making model for futures contract design are derived.
    Introducing New Futures Contracts: Reinforcement versus Cannibalism
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2001
    Journal of International Money and Finance 20 (2001)5. - ISSN 0261-5606 - p. 659 - 675.
    The Motivation for Hedging Revisited
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    Journal of Futures Markets 20 (2000)9. - ISSN 0270-7314 - p. 865 - 885.
    futures markets - developing-country - shareholder value - channel - power - prices - uncertainty - dependence - conflict - firm
    This article develops an alternative view on the motivation to hedge. A conceptual model shows how hedging facilitates contract relationships between firms and can solve conflicts between firms. In this model, the contract preferences, level of power, and conflicts in contractual relationships of firms are driving the usage of futures contracts. The model shows how using futures markets can provide a jointly preferred contracting arrangement, enhancing relationships between firms. The robust nature of the conceptual model is empirically examined through a computer-guided study of various firms. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Hedging Revisited: Resolving Contractual Conflicts
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    Urbana, Illinois : Office for Futures and Options Research, Univ. of Illinois (OFOR Paper 00-01) - 32 p.
    A Behavioral Approach towards Futures Contract Usage
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    Urbana, Illinois : Office for Futures and Options Research, Univ. of Illinois (OFOR Paper 00-08) - 29 p.
    A Behavioral Approach towards Futures Contract Usage
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    In: Proceedings, the Growth, Performance and Concentration of International Financial Markets November 22-24, 2000, Monash European Studies Centre, Via Pugliesli, Prato (Florence), Italy, 2000. - [S.l.] : [s.n.], 2000. - CD-ROM
    The Role of Farmers' Behavioral Attitudes and Heterogeneity in Futures Contracts Usage
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82 (2000)4. - ISSN 0002-9092 - p. 908 - 919.
    The authors are grateful for the generous participation of the 440 farmers in the personal computer-assisted interviews. Financial support provided by the Amsterdam Exchanges (AEX), Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Foundation for Research in Agricultural Derivatives, the Office for Futures and Options Research, and the Niels Stensen Foundation made it possible to conduct the large-scale interview. The authors would like to thank J.A. Bijkerk for building a user-friendly interface for the computer-assisted personal interviews. The authors express special thanks to W. Brorsen, M. Candel, C. Ennew, P. Garcia, F. ter Hofstede, S. Irwin, M.T.G. Meulenberg, M. Rockinger, F. Verhees, A. Smidts, J-B.E.M. Steenkamp, B. Wierenga and the participants of the 1999 NCR-134 meeting held at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for helpful comments on the research project and preliminary versions of this manuscript.
    Futures Exchange Innovations: Reinforcement versus Cannibalisme
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 1999
    Unknown Publisher - 31 p.
    Commodity Futures Contract Viability: A Multidisciplinary Approach
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 1999
    Unknown Publisher - 37 p.
    Optimal Futures Contract Design: A Multidisciplinary Marketing : Finance Approach
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 1999
    In: Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management : Proceedings NCR-134 Conference, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, United States, 19 - 20 April / T.C. Schroeder. - Manhattan, Kansas, USA : Kansas State University Press, 199 - p. 273 - 288.
    An analysis of building behaviour of the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur)
    Bruinsma, O.H. - \ 1979
    Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen. Promotor(en): J. de Wilde, co-promotor(en): R.H. Leuthold. - Wageningen : Bruinsma - 83
    diergedrag - ecologie - gewoonten - Macrotermes subhyalinus - feromonen - animal behaviour - ecology - habits - Macrotermes subhyalinus - pheromones
    Although the work presented in this study is little more than a first survey of the causal factors involved in construction behaviour of Macrotermessubhyalinus , it clearly indicates a fertile field of research which has scarcely been explored. Past studies have concentrated on the release of building behaviour and have done little (with the exception of Grassé, 1959) to account for the formation of the various types of structural elements present in termite nests. The present study gives a general account of building behaviour and of the formation of several structural elements: volatile chemical cues in concerted action with tactile stimuli provided by physical objects, cause workers to grasp soil pellets, transport them, and subsequently deposit them at a building site. The ability of termite workers to employ pheromones in a versatile way in their orientation is the underlying condition which gives rise to the formation of a variety of structural elements.

    Building behaviour in this species is predominantly released by chemical stimuli like the building pheromone of the queen, the 'cement' pheromone and the trail pheromone (Bruinsma, unpublished). In view of the fact that the active space of the latter two pheromones directly depends on the number abd distribution of workers, it would appear, then, that the building latency time is inversely related to the workers group size. Grassé, (1959) has described such a density dependent effect on building activity in Cubitermes.

    The orientation required by building workers is mediated by trail- and 'cement' pheromone (directional orientation) and in the appropriate situation also by the building pheromone emanating from the queen (providing distance orientation). Other authors have documented examples of chemical orientation among termites. Leuthold (1975) has reviewed a body of evidence which shows that termites to a great extent rely on odour trail orientation. Stuart (1967) discovered that Zootermopsis is recruited to building sites by chemical trails. Grassé, (1959), Wilson (1971) and Deneubourg (1977) indicated the possibility of odours emanating from construction sites, orienting nearby motivated workers to such sites. This study furnishes convincing authentication of a pheromone emanating from a building site and confirms its rôle in worker orientation. Soil transporting workers arriving at a building site, e.g. located along a trail or in a deposition zone around the queen, attain a stable orientation with respect to that site prior to and during cementing their load. This response is probably to be due to the perception of a local stimulus, or stimulus complex. Such a mechanism of orientation is named telotaxis (Schöne, 1973), and implies as already emphasized by Fraenkel and Gunn (1961), simultaneous perception and evaluation of several stimuli.

    The results obtained with physical objects (small spheres) are in accordance with those of Stuart (1967) who demonstrated that surface irregularities release building behaviour in Nasutitermes. In respect of the ability of M . subhyalinus to perceive spatial relations between the discussed stimuli, it is of interest to mention a mechanism of orientation which has been described by Forel as: "By topochemical I mean a sense of smell which informs the ant as to the topography of the places surrounding it by means of chemical emanations which give an odour to objects" (Forel, 1928; cit. by Wilson, 1971, p252). To date such a mechanism integrating olfactory and mechanical information has been only demonstrated in honey bees (Martin, 1965) and the termites referred to in this study.

    Grassé, (1959, 1967) described in detail building behaviour in M . bellicosus , M . mülleri and Cubitermes sp. According to this author, it is the product of work previously accomplished, which constitutes the social stimulus for the workers to perform additional work (the concept of 'stigmergy'). In summary, two stages are distinguished: 1) A phase of 'unco-ordination' during which the workers first explore the container they are placed in, and after a certain time lapse start depositing soil pellets anywhere in the arena. When at some place the deposited material reaches a 'critical density' that is when several soil pellets are stuck together, this incipient structure proves to be very attractive to the workers compared to single pellets. 2) Subsequently the phase of 'co-ordination' is started during which workers transform the incipient structures into pillars, which, when a neighbouring one is within a critical distance, are combined to form arches. The concept of 'stigmergy' can be very well viewed in terms of the mechanism treated in the present study, except the observation that, initially, building is random. This observation is at variance with that of Stuart (1969), and the finding in the current study that workers employ the edge of a pheromone trail as a zone to co-ordinate soil depositions.

    Stuart (1967, 1969, and 1972) concludes that the behavioural basis of building is a response to a 'low level excitatory' stimulus, like air movement, odour, light, temperature etc., deviating from the normal nest environment. The subsequent building activity gradually eliminates the causal stimulus, and when no more environmental stimuli are forthcoming, building will stop. In conclusion, the immediate function of building is a homeostatic one. Since termites like most other social insects control the environment within the nest by actively maintaining several steady states, based on behavioural and physiological regulation (this phenomenon has been named 'social homeostasis' by Emerson, 1956), it is important to know whether the building mechanism proposed in this study is compatible with homeostatic regulation. At present it is only possible to indicate that there are several negative feedback mechanisms operating during building activity. At first, the ephemeral activity of both the trail- and the 'cement' pheromone is likely to modify the number of workers recruited to building sites. Secondly, it could be shown that major and minor workers during subsequent building runs loose between 20 - 40% of their fresh weight. In case workers are not allowed to compensate this loss by drinking at the water supply, they invariably stop building (Bruinsma, unpublished).

    The fact that pheromones, together with structural signals, are involved in the initiation and co-ordination of building behaviour in termites constitutes a plausible mechanism which accounts for most aspects of nest building behaviour in M . subhyalinus . The findings presented in this study may serve a useful purpose, increasing the understanding of the way in which termites perform such remarkable engineering feats as the construction of their impressive nest mounds.

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