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Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels

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  • Rajagopal, Deepak
  • Zilberman, David

Abstract

This review provides a timely summary of the current understanding of the various impacts and contributes positively to the policy debate. We have several key conclusions: (1) Biofuels are diverse and evolving; (2) Greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits vary significantly across various types of biofuels and are dependent on market conditions and policy situation; (3) Increase in income in the developing world would increase the demand for both food and fuel; (4) A diverse set of policies, which has been introduced or proposed, impacts biofuels directly; and (5) Much of the impact assessments of biofuels thus far are ex-ante estimates based on either optimization or equilibrium models. The short-term economic impacts of biofuels will depend on a variety of factors such as the harvest in any given year, the oil price, economic growth, strength of the dollar, and level of inventory. The long-term impacts will depend on factors such as investment in technological change, population and economic growth, climate change, and long-term policies toward energy, agriculture, and the environment. The biofuel policy debate is likely to be an ongoing one in the near future.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2008. "Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 4(5), pages 353-468, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntmic:0700000029
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0700000029
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    Cited by:

    1. Romijn, Henny A. & Caniëls, Marjolein C.J., 2011. "The Jatropha biofuels sector in Tanzania 2005-2009: Evolution towards sustainability?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 618-636, May.
    2. Hakan Eggert & Mads Greaker, 2014. "Promoting Second Generation Biofuels: Does the First Generation Pave the Road?," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-16, July.
    3. Lapan, Harvey & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Second-best biofuel policies and the welfare effects of quantity mandates and subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 224-241.
    4. 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.
    5. Dixon, Peter & van Meijl, Hans & Rimmer, Maureen & Shutes, Lindsay & Tabeau, Andrzej, 2013. "RED vs. REDD: Biofuel Policy vs. Forest Conservation," Working papers 152082, Factor Markets, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    6. De Lucia, Caterina & Bartlett, Mark, 2014. "Implementing a biofuel economy in the EU: Lessons from the SUSTOIL project and future perspectives for next generation biofuels," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 22-30.
    7. repec:eee:eneeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:146-158 is not listed on IDEAS

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