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The economics of oil, biofuel and food commodities

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  • Bahel, Eric
  • Marrouch, Walid
  • Gaudet, Gérard

Abstract

We study the effects on the food price of introducing biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuel in the energy market. Energy is supplied by a price-leading oil cartel and a competitive fringe of farmers producing biofuel. Biofuel production shares a finite land resource with food production. A positive relationship results between energy and food prices. We establish that the equilibrium price of food will be growing as long as the oil stock is being depleted, and beyond if demand is growing. An analysis of the effects of the productivity of land use in either the food or the biofuel sectors is carried out. It is shown that, with a highly inelastic demand for food, an increase in the productivity of land in agriculture will decrease the price of food in the short-run, only to increase it in the long-run as the stock of fossil fuel is depleted.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:35:y:2013:i:4:p:599-617
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2013.02.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom & Van Long, Ngo, 2012. "Substitution between biofuels and fossil fuels: Is there a green paradox?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 328-341.
    2. Jevgenijs Steinbuks & Thomas W. Hertel, 2016. "Confronting the Food–Energy–Environment Trilemma: Global Land Use in the Long Run," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(3), pages 545-570, March.
    3. Nachtigall, Daniel & Rübbelke, Dirk, 2016. "The green paradox and learning-by-doing in the renewable energy sector," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 74-92.
    4. Tokic, Damir, 2015. "The 2014 oil bust: Causes and consequences," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 162-169.
    5. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:559-570 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hoel, Michael & Sletten, Thea Marcelia, 2016. "Climate and forests: The tradeoff between forests as a source for producing bioenergy and as a carbon sink," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 112-129.
    7. Ngo Van LONG, 2014. "The Green Paradox under Imperfect Substitutability between Clean and Dirty Fuels," Cahiers de recherche 02-2014, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    8. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Biofuels Subsidies and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2960, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Do Biofuel Subsidies Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec10-01, International and Development Economics.
    10. Dohnal, Mirko, 2016. "Complex biofuels related scenarios generated by qualitative reasoning under severe information shortages: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 676-684.
    11. Lotfali Agheli, 2016. "Demand for Natural Gas in Food and Beverage Industries of Iran," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 588-593.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Biofuel; Oil depletion; Demand growth; Energy price; Food price;

    JEL classification:

    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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