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The Socially Optimal Import Tariff and Tax Credit for Ethanol with Farm Subsidies

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  • de Gorter, Harry
  • Just, David R.
  • Tan, Qinwen

Abstract

We determine how the U.S. ethanol tax credit and import tariff affect the corn-ethanol-gasoline markets and how farm subsidies interact with these policies. We show how the ethanol tax credit and import tariff each uniquely affect the ethanol and gasoline prices. The ethanol import tariff alone increases the terms of trade in ethanol imports and corn exports, but decreases the terms of trade in gasoline imports and the tax costs of farm price supports. With price-contingent farm subsidies in place, the optimal tariff and tax credit will depend on the price level. When farm subsidy expenditures are high, import subsidies for ethanol may increase social welfare due to the substantial size of the fuel market relative to the corn market.

Suggested Citation

  • de Gorter, Harry & Just, David R. & Tan, Qinwen, 2009. "The Socially Optimal Import Tariff and Tax Credit for Ethanol with Farm Subsidies," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 38(1), April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:49865
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
    2. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Schmitz Andrew & Moss Charles B. & Schmitz Troy G., 2007. "Ethanol: No Free Lunch," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-28, December.
    4. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2007. "Review of environmental, economic and policy aspects of biofuels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4341, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. McPhail, Lihong Lu & Babcock, Bruce A., 2012. "Impact of US biofuel policy on US corn and gasoline price variability," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 505-513.
    2. Bullock, David S. & Couleau, Anabelle, 2012. "The U.S. Ethanol and Commodity Policy Labyrinth: Looking into Welfare Space to Analyze Policies that Combine Multiple Instruments," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126901, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Ziolkowska, Jadwiga & Simon, Leo K. & Zilberman, David, 2011. "Capturing Uncertainties in Evaluation of Biofuels Feedstocks: A Multi-Criteria Approach for the US," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115980, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Lade, Gabriel & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Smith, Aaron, 2014. "Policy Uncertainty under Market-Based Regulations: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170673, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Mazumder, Diya B., 2014. "Biofuel subsidies versus the gas tax: The carrot or the stick?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 361-374.
    6. Stephen Devadoss & Jude Bayham, 2013. "US Ethanol Trade Policy: Pollution Reduction or Domestic Protection," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 568-584, August.
    7. Sparks, G.D. & Ortmann, Gerald F. & Lagrange, L., 2010. "An Economic Evaluation of Soybean-Based Biodiesel Production on Commercial Farms in the Soybean-Producing Regions of KwaZulu-Natal: Some Preliminary Results," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 95980, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).

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