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

Listed author(s):
  • Catherine Hausman

    ()

  • Maximilian Auffhammer
  • Peter Berck
Registered author(s):

    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

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-012-9550-x
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    Article provided by Springer & European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 117-136

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:53:y:2012:i:1:p:117-136
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9550-x
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    1. 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.
    2. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Linda Nøstbakken, 2009. "Fuel Versus Food," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 645-663, September.
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      • Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Helene & Nostbakken, Linda, 2009. "Fuel versus Food," Working Papers 2009-20, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    4. Martin Banse & Hans van Meijl & Andrzej Tabeau & Geert Woltjer, 2008. "Will EU biofuel policies affect global agricultural markets?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 117-141, June.
    5. Zhang, Zibin & Vedenov, Dmitry V. & Wetzstein, Michael E., 2007. "Can the U.S. Ethanol Industry Compete in the Alternative Fuels' Market?," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34867, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Mushtaq, Khalid & Dawson, P. J., 2002. "Acreage response in Pakistan: a co-integration approach," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 111-121, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
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    10. Mushtaq, Khalid & Dawson, P.J., 2002. "Acreage response in Pakistan: a co-integration approach," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 27(2), August.
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