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Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Gal Hochman

    () (Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics, Rutgers University, 55 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA)

  • Scott Kaplan

    () (Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of California Berkeley, 207 Giannini Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

  • Deepak Rajagopal

    () (Institute of Environment, University of California Los-Angeles, La Kretz Hall, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA)

  • David Zilberman

    () (Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of California Berkeley, 207 Giannini Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

Abstract

The paper summarizes key findings of alternative lines of research on the relationship between food and fuel markets, and identifies gaps between two bodies of literature: one that investigates the relationship between food and fuel prices, and another that investigates the impact of the introduction of biofuels on commodity-food prices. The former body of literature suggests that biofuel prices do not affect food-commodity prices, but the latter suggests it does. We try to explain this gap, and then show that although biofuel was an important contributor to the recent food-price inflation of 2001–2008, its effect on food-commodity prices declined after the recession of 2008/09. We also show that the introduction of cross-price elasticity is important when explaining soybean price, but less so when explaining corn prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Gal Hochman & Scott Kaplan & Deepak Rajagopal & David Zilberman, 2012. "Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-10, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:2:y:2012:i:3:p:272-281:d:20270
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Zilberman & Gal Hochman & Deepak Rajagopal & Steve Sexton & Govinda Timilsina, 2013. "The Impact of Biofuels on Commodity Food Prices: Assessment of Findings," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(2), pages 275-281.
    2. Thaeripour, Farzad & Hertel, Thomas W. & Tyner, Wallace E. & Beckman, Jayson F. & Birur, Dileep K., 2008. "Biofuels and their By-Products: Global Economic and Environmental Implications," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6452, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Teresa Serra & David Zilberman & José Gil, 2011. "Price volatility in ethanol markets," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 259-280, June.
    4. Hochman Gal & Sexton Steven E & Zilberman David D, 2008. "The Economics of Biofuel Policy and Biotechnology," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-24, December.
    5. Xiaoguang Chen & Haixiao Huang & Madhu Khanna & Hayri Önal, 2011. "Meeting the Mandate for Biofuels: Implications for Land Use, Food, and Fuel Prices," NBER Chapters,in: The Intended and Unintended Effects of U.S. Agricultural and Biotechnology Policies, pages 223-267 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lihong Lu McPhail & Bruce A. Babcock, 2008. "Ethanol, Mandates, and Drought: Insights from a Stochastic Equilibrium Model of the U.S. Corn Market," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 08-wp464, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    7. David M Arseneau & Sylvain Leduc, 2013. "Commodity Price Movements in a General Equilibrium Model of Storage," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(1), pages 199-224, April.
    8. Wetzstein, M. & Wetzstein, H., 2011. "Four myths surrounding U.S. biofuels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4308-4312, July.
    9. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Hélène & Moreaux, Michel & Nostbakken, Linda, 2010. "Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," LERNA Working Papers 10.20.326, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    10. McPhail, Lihong Lu, 2011. "Assessing the impact of US ethanol on fossil fuel markets: A structural VAR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1177-1185.
    11. Zhang, Zibin & Lohr, Luanne & Escalante, Cesar & Wetzstein, Michael, 2010. "Food versus fuel: What do prices tell us?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 445-451, January.
    12. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
    13. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Michel Moreaux & Linda Nøstbakken, 2012. "Do Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201214, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    14. Hochman, Gal & Rajagopal, Deepak & Timilsina, Govinda & Zilberman, David, 2011. "The role of inventory adjustments in quantifying factors causing food price inflation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5744, The World Bank.
    15. Teresa Serra & David Zilberman & José M. Gil & Barry K. Goodwin, 2011. "Nonlinearities in the U.S. corn‐ethanol‐oil‐gasoline price system," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 35-45, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    biofuels; commodity-food prices; economic growth; energy prices; exchange rate;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • 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
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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