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Switching to Perennial Energy Crops under Uncertainty and Costly Reversibility

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  • Song, Feng
  • Zhao, Jinhua
  • Swinton, Scott M.

Abstract

We study a farmer’s decision to convert traditional crop land into growing dedicated energy crops, taking in account sunk conversion costs, uncertainties in traditional and energy crop returns, and learning. The optimal decision rules differ significantly from the expected net present value rule, which ignores learning, and from real option models that allow only one way conversions into energy crops. These models also predict drastically different patterns of land conversions into and out of energy crops over time. Using corn-soybean rotations and switchgrass as examples, we show that the model predictions are sensitive to assumptions about stochastic processes of the returns. Government policies might have unintended consequences: subsidizing conversion costs into switchgrass reduces proportions of land in switchgrass in the long run.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 56195.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:56195

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Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
Phone: (517) 355-4563
Fax: (517) 432-1800
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Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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Keywords: real options; irreversibility; sunk costs; land conversion; biofuel; cellulosic biomass; dynamic modeling; stochastic process; biofuel policy; Land Economics/Use; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Risk and Uncertainty; Q42; Q24;

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  1. Titman, Sheridan, 1985. "Urban Land Prices under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 505-14, June.
  2. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  3. Fumasi, Roland J. & Richardson, James W. & Outlaw, Joe L., 2008. "The Economics Of Growing And Delivering Cellulosic Feedstocks In The Beaumont, Texas Area," 2008 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2008, Dallas, Texas 6788, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. Irwin, Elena G. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 2004. "Land use externalities, open space preservation, and urban sprawl," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 705-725, November.
  5. Williams, Jeffery R. & Llewelyn, Richard V. & Pendell, Dustin L. & Schlegel, Alan J. & Troy, Dumler, 2009. "A Risk Analysis of Converting CRP Acres to a Wheat-Sorghum-Fallow Rotation," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 45985, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
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  9. Conrad, Jon M. & Kotani, Koji, 2005. "When to drill? Trigger prices for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 273-286, November.
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  15. Margaret Insley & Kimberly Rollins, 2005. "On Solving the Multirotational Timber Harvesting Problem with Stochastic Prices: A Linear Complementarity Formulation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 735-755.
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Cited by:
  1. Kumarappan, Subbu & Joshi, Satish V., 2012. "Optimal biomass-harvesting model for biobutanol biorefineries," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124717, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Lee, Sangjun & Zhao, Jinhua & Thornsbury, Suzanne, 2013. "Extreme Events and Land Use Decisions under Climate Change in Tart Cherry Industry in Michigan," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150568, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Rosburg, Alicia & Miranowski, John & Jacobs, Keri, 2013. "Cellulosic Biofuel Supply with Heterogeneous Biomass Suppliers: An Application to Switchgrass-based Ethanol," Staff General Research Papers 36359, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Di Corato, Luca & Hess, Sebastian, 2013. "Farmland Investments in Africa: What’s the Deal?," Working Paper Series 2013:10, Department Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
  5. Dumortier, Jerome, 2012. "Welfare changes associated with forest carbon offset credits in the United States," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124632, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Mooney, Daniel F. & Barham, Bradford L., 2013. "What Drives the Adoption of Clean Agricultural Technologies? An Ex Ante Assessment of Sustainable Biofuel Production in Southwestern Wisconsin," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150557, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Michele Baggio, 2012. "The Optimal Management of a Natural Resource with Switching Dynamics," IED Working paper 12-19, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  8. Latta, Gregory S. & Baker, Justin S. & Beach, Robert H. & Rose, Steven K. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2013. "A multi-sector intertemporal optimization approach to assess the GHG implications of U.S. forest and agricultural biomass electricity expansion," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 361-383.
  9. Mooney, Daniel F. & Barham, Bradford L. & Lian, Chang, 2013. "Sustainable Biofuels, Marginal Agricultural Lands, and Farm Supply Response: Micro-Evidence for Southwest Wisconsin," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150510, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  10. Corato, Luca Di & Hess, Sebastian, 2013. "A Dynamic Stochastic Programming Framework for Modeling Large Scale Land Deals in Developing Countries," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150190, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Sharp, Benjamin E. & Miller, Shelie A., 2014. "Estimating maximum land use change potential from a regional biofuel industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 261-269.
  12. Di Corato, Luca & Gazheli, Ardjan & Lagerkvist, Carl-Johan, 2013. "Investing in energy forestry under uncertainty," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 56-64.
  13. Swinton, Scott M. & Babcock, Bruce A. & James, Laura K. & Bandaru, Varaprasad, 2011. "Higher US crop prices trigger little area expansion so marginal land for biofuel crops is limited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5254-5258, September.
  14. Fradj, Nosra Ben & Jayet, Pierre-Alain, 2011. "Impacts of Promoting Perennial Crops in the French Agriculture," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114246, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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