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Predicting Long-Term Food Demand, Cropland Use, and Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas W. Hertel

    () (Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1145)

  • Uris Lantz C. Baldos

    () (Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1145)

  • Dominique van der Mensbrugghe

    () (Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1145)

Abstract

This review seeks to survey, understand, and reconcile the widely divergent estimates of long-run global crop output, land use, and price projections in the current literature. We review the history of such projections and the different models and assumptions used in these exercises. We then introduce an analytical partial equilibrium model of the global crops sector, which provides a lens through which we can evaluate this previous work. The resulting decomposition of model responses into demand, extensive supply, and intensive supply elasticities offers important insights into the diversity of model parameterizations being employed by the existing models. Along with the methodology for implementing productivity growth, this helps explain some of the divergences in results. We employ a numerical version of the analytical model, which serves as an emulator of this entire class of models, to explore how uncertainties in the common underlying drivers and economic responses contribute to uncertain projections of output, prices, and land use in 2050. We place each of the published estimates reviewed here into the resulting empirical distribution of outcomes at mid-century. In addition, we quantify the sensitivity of these projections to model inputs. Our findings suggest that the top priority for future research should be improved estimation of agricultural factor supply elasticities, a topic that has been largely neglected in recent decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas W. Hertel & Uris Lantz C. Baldos & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2016. "Predicting Long-Term Food Demand, Cropland Use, and Prices," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 417-441, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:8:y:2016:p:417-441
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert M'barek & Jesus Barreiro-Hurle & Pierre Boulanger & Arnaldo Caivano & Pavel Ciaian & Hasan Dudu & Maria Espinosa Goded & Thomas Fellmann & Emanuele Ferrari & Sergio Gomez Y Paloma & Celso Gorri, 2017. "Scenar 2030 - Pathways for the European agriculture and food sector beyond 2020," JRC Working Papers JRC108449, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Fukase,Emiko & Martin,William J., 2017. "Economic growth, convergence, and world food demand and supply," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8257, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural output; crop prices; land use; projections; total factor productivity; food security;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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