The impact of biofuel growth on agriculture: Why is the range of estimates so wide?
The rapid expansion of biofuel production has generated considerable interest within the body of empirical economic literature that has sought to understand the impact of biofuel growth on the global food economy. While the consensus within the literature is that biofuel emergence is likely to have some effect on future world agricultural market, there is a considerable range in the estimated size of the impact. Despite the importance of this topic to policy makers, there has been no study that has tried to reconcile the differences among various outlook studies. This paper undertakes an in-depth review of some key outlook studies which quantify the impacts of biofuels on agricultural commodities, and which are based on either general-equilibrium (GE) or partial-equilibrium (PE) modeling approaches. We attempt to reconcile the systematic differences in the estimated impacts of biofuel production growth on the prospective prices and production of three major feedstock commodities, maize, sugar cane, and oilseeds across these studies. Despite the fact that all models predict positive impacts on prices and production, there are large differences among the studies. Our findings point to a number of key assumptions and structural differences that seem to jointly drive the variations we observe, across these studies. The differences among the PE models are mainly due to differences in the design of scenarios, the presence or absence of biofuel trade, and the structural way in which agricultural and energy market linkages are modeled. The differences among the GE models are likely to be driven by model assumptions on agricultural land supply, the inclusion of the byproducts, and assumptions on crude oil prices and the elasticity of substitution between petroleum and biofuels.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:227-239. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.