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Ethanol Production, Food and Forests

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  • Andrade de Sa, Saraly
  • Palmer, Charles
  • Engel, Stefanie

Abstract

This paper investigates the direct and indirect impacts of ethanol production on land use, deforestation and food production. A partial equilibrium model of a national economy with two sectors and two regions, one of which includes a residual forest, is developed. It analyses how an exogenous increase in the ethanol price affects input allocation (land and labor) between sectors (energy crop and food). Three potential effects are identified. First, the standard and well-documented effect of direct land competition between rival uses increases deforestation and decreases food production. Second, an indirect displacement of food production across regions, provoked by a shift in the price of food, increases deforestation and reduces the total output of the food sector. Finally, labor mobility between sectors and regions tends to decrease food production but also deforestation. The overall impact of ethanol production on forest conversion is ambiguous, providing a number of interesting pointers to further, empirical research. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 with number 21.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec10:21

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Keywords: Ethanol; Deforestation; Indirect impacts; Land use; Migration;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Bahel, Eric & Marrouch, Walid & Gaudet, Gérard, 2013. "The economics of oil, biofuel and food commodities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 599-617.
  2. Matthias Diermeier & Torsten Schmidt, 2012. "Oil Price Effects on Land Use Competition – An Empirical Analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 0340, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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