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Including Risk in Economic Feasibility Analyses: The Case of Ethanol Production in Texas


  • Richardson, James W.
  • Herbst, Brian K.
  • Outlaw, Joe L.
  • Gill, Robert Chope, II


The widespread use of personal computers and spreadsheet models for feasibility studies makes risk-based Monte Carlo simulation analysis of proposed investments a relatively simple task. Add-in simulation packages for Microsoft® Excel can be used to make spreadsheet models stochastic. Rather than basing investment decisions on point estimates, investors can easily estimate the implied distributions of returns for uncertain investments and calculate the risk of an investment as well as the probability of success. The benefits of using Monte Carlo simulation to analyze a risky investment are demonstrated using an ethanol plant as an example.

Suggested Citation

  • Richardson, James W. & Herbst, Brian K. & Outlaw, Joe L. & Gill, Robert Chope, II, 2007. "Including Risk in Economic Feasibility Analyses: The Case of Ethanol Production in Texas," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 25(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jloagb:62291

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    1. Asci, Serhat & Borisova, Tatiana & VanSickle, John J., 2015. "Role of economics in developing fertilizer best management practices," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 251-261.
    2. Kim, Man-Keun & Curtis, Kynda R. & Yeager, Irvin, 2014. "An Assessment of Market Strategies for Small-Scale Produce Growers," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(3).
    3. McCorkle, Dean & Dudensing, Rebekka & Hanselka, Dan & Hellman, Ed, 2016. "Evaluating the Potential for Precision Mechanization in U.S. Wine Grape Production," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235880, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Zapata, Samuel D. & Ribera, Luis A. & Palma, Marco A., 2017. "Effect Of Production Parameters On The Economic Feasibility Of A Biofuel Enterprise," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 347-362, August.
    5. Dlamini, Thula S. & Fraser, Gavin C.G., 2010. "Economics of Meat Production from the Springbuck in the Eastern Cape Karoo," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96181, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    6. Asci, Serhat & Borisova, Tatiana & VanSickle, John J., 2014. "Risks in Potato Production: Fertilizer, Water, and Producers’ Decision Making," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162536, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. McCorkle, Dean A. & Dudensing, Rebekka M. & Hanselka, Dan & Hellman, Ed W., 2016. "Economics of Robotic Technology in Texas Wine Grape Production," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230005, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Vorotnikova, Ekaterina & Borisova, Tatiana & VanSickle, John J., 2014. "Evaluation of the profitability of a new precision fungicide application system for strawberry production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 77-88.
    9. Curtis, Kynda R. & Cowee, Margaret W. & Kim, Man-Keun & Harris, Thomas R., . "Evaluating Returns to Cool Season Grass Quality Characteristics for Niche Equine Feed Markets," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia.
    10. repec:eco:journ2:2017-06-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Morris, Brittany D. & Richardson, James W. & Frosch, Brian J. & Outlaw, Joe L. & Rooney, William L., 2009. "Economic Feasibility of Ethanol Production from Sweet Sorghum Juice in Texas," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 46852, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    12. Curtis, Kynda R. & Bishop, Carol & Harris, Thomas R., 2009. "Economics of Alternative Crop Production in Arid Regions," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48053, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    13. Yi, Fujin & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Thome, Karen, 2013. "An Analysis of the Effects of Government Subsidies and the Renewable Fuels Standard on the Fuel Ethanol Industry: A Structural Econometric Model," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150224, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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