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Farm Acreage Shocks and Crop Prices: An SVAR Approach to Understanding the Impacts of Biofuels

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  • Catherine Hausman

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  • Maximilian Auffhammer
  • Peter Berck

Abstract

The last 10 years have seen tremendous expansion in biofuels production, particularly in corn ethanol in the United States, at the same time that commodity prices (e.g., corn) have experienced significant spikes. While supporters claim that biofuels are renewable and carbon-friendly, concerns have been raised about their impacts on land use and food prices. This paper analyzes how US crop prices have responded to shocks in acreage supply; these shocks can be thought of as a shock to the residual supply of corn for food. Using a structural vector auto-regression framework, we examine shocks to a crop’s own acreage and to total cropland. This allows us to estimate the effect of dedicating cropland or non-crop farmlands to biofuels feedstock production. A negative shock in own acreage leads to an increase in price for soybeans and corn. Our calculations show that increased corn ethanol production during the boom production year 2006/2007 explains approximately 27% of the experienced corn price rise. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Hausman & Maximilian Auffhammer & Peter Berck, 2012. "Farm Acreage Shocks and Crop Prices: An SVAR Approach to Understanding the Impacts of Biofuels," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(1), pages 117-136, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:117-136
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9550-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Na Hao & Peter Pedroni & Gregory Colson & Michael Wetzstein, 2017. "The linkage between the U.S. ethanol market and developing countries’ maize prices: a panel SVAR analysis," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(5), pages 629-638, September.
    2. Vorotnikova, Ekaterina & Seale, James L, 2014. "U.S. Ethanol Mandate Is a Hidden Subsidy to Corn Producers," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162551, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Helene & Nostbakken, Linda, 2012. "The Long Run Impact of Biofuels on Food Prices," Working Papers 2012-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    4. Fernando Avalos & Marco Jacopo Lombardi, 2015. "The biofuel connection: impact of US regulation on oil and food prices," BIS Working Papers 487, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Roberts, Michael J. & Tran, A. Nam, 2013. "Conditional Suspension of the US Ethanol Mandate using Threshold Price inside a Competitive Storage Model," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150717, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Gabriel E. Lade & C.Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell & Aaron Smith, 2016. "Policy Shocks and Market-Based Regulations: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 16-wp565, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    7. Condon, Nicole & Klemick, Heather & Wolverton, Ann, 2015. "Impacts of ethanol policy on corn prices: A review and meta-analysis of recent evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 63-73.
    8. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Beyza Ural Marchand, 2012. "Food for Fuel: The Effect of the US Biofuel Mandate on Poverty in India," CESifo Working Paper Series 3910, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Anelise Rahmeier Seyffarth, 2016. "The Impact of Rising Ethanol Production on the Brazilian Market for Basic Food Commodities: An Econometric Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(3), pages 511-536, July.
    10. Samuel Evans & Matthew Potts, 2015. "Effect of Agricultural Commodity Prices on Species Abundance of US Grassland Birds," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(3), pages 549-565, November.
    11. Lade, Gabriel E. & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Smith, Aaron, 2015. "Ex Post Costs and Renewable Identification Number (RIN) Prices under the Renewable Fuel Standard," Discussion Papers dp-15-22, Resources For the Future.
    12. Christian Langpap & JunJie Wu, 2011. "Potential Environmental Impacts of Increased Reliance on Corn-Based Bioenergy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 147-171, June.
    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. Daniel Grabowski, 2016. "Causes of the 2000s Food Price Surge: New Evidence from Structural VAR," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201631, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2014. "Do oil price increases cause higher food prices?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(80), pages 691-747, October.
    16. Isabel Teichmann, 2015. "Global Food Security," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 76, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Maslyuk, Svetlana & Dharmaratna, Dinusha, 2013. "Renewable Electricity Generation, CO2 Emissions and Economic Growth: Evidence from Middle-Income Countries in Asia /Generación de electricidad renovable, las emisiones de CO2 y crecimiento económico: ," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 31, pages 217-244, Enero.
    18. Meyer, Kevin Michael, 2017. "Three essays on environmental and resource economics," ISU General Staff Papers 201701010800006585, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    19. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Beyza Ural Marchand, 2016. "The effect of the US biofuels mandate on poverty in India," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2016-13, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

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