Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?
AbstractBiofuels have received a lot of attention as a substitute for gasoline in transportation. They have also been blamed for recent increases in food prices. Both the United States and the European Union have adopted mandatory blending policies that require a sharp increase in the use of biofuels. In this paper, we examine the effect of these mandates on food prices and carbon emissions. The model we use considers future world population growth and income-driven changes in dietary preferences towards higher meat and dairy consumption as well as heterogenous land quality. We find that food prices increase anyway because of increased demand for food, especially due to the higher consumption of meat products, and scarcity of fertile arable lands. The contribution of the biofuel mandates to food prices is quite small, about 5% at most. However, biofuel mandates actually increase global emissions due to land conversion and terms of trade effects, undermining the main reason for imposing the mandates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 10-212.
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-HÃ©lÃ¨ne & Moreaux, Michel & Nostbakken, Linda, 2010. "Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," LERNA Working Papers 10.20.326, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
- Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Helene & Moreaux, Michel & Nostbakken, Linda, 2011. "Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," Working Papers 2011-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 01 May 2011.
- Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Hélène & Moreaux, Michel & Nostbakken, Linda, 2010. "Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," IDEI Working Papers 653, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
- Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
- Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2011-01-03 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-01-03 (Energy Economics)
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