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Impacts Of Large Scale Expansion Of Biofuels On Global Poverty And Income Distribution

  • Cororaton, Caesar B.
  • Timilsina, Govinda R.
  • Mevel, Simon

This paper analyzes the impact of expansion in biofuels on the global economy, income distribution and poverty. It utilizes simulation results of two World Bank models: a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model integrated with biofuels, land-use, and climate change modules, and a global income distribution model that utilizes household survey data of 116 countries. The first model simulates the effects over time of large scale expansion of biofuels on resource allocation, output prices, commodity prices, factor prices, and household income of the different countries and regions in the world. The second model uses these results recursively to calculate the impact on global income distribution and poverty. The results from the CGE model indicate that large scale expansion of biofuels lead to higher world prices of sugar, corn, oilseeds, wheat, and other grains, which lead to higher food prices. The increase in food inflation is higher in developing countries than in developed countries. The expansion of biofuels results in higher wages of unskilled rural labor relative to wages of the other labor types which are skilled urban, skilled rural, and unskilled urban, especially in developing countries. These positive wage effects on unskilled rural labor trigger movement of unskilled urban labor towards rural and agriculture. This is because production of feedstock in developing countries is relatively intensive in the use of unskilled rural labor. The effects of large scale expansion of biofuels on poverty vary across regions. But overall there is a slight increase in global poverty. The increase largely comes from South Asia (particularly India) and Sub-Saharan Africa. Significant number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa show higher poverty with large scale expansion of biofuels. However, poverty declines in East Asia and Latin America regions. Overall, there is a slight increase in the GINI coefficient. There is a slight increase in the GINI coefficient in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia. There is a small reduction in the GINI coefficient in the rest of the regions.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/91279
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Paper provided by International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium in its series Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany with number 91279.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iatr10:91279
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  1. De Hoyos, Rafael E. & Medvedev, Denis, 2009. "Poverty effects of higher food prices : a global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4887, The World Bank.
  2. Govinda R. Timilsina & John C. Beghin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & Simon Mevel, 2012. "The impacts of biofuels targets on landā€use change and food supply: A global CGE assessment," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 315-332, 05.
  3. Arndt, Channing & Benfica, Rui M.S. & Tarp, Finn & Thurlow, James & Uaiene, Rafael N., 2008. "Biofuels, Poverty, and Growth: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of Mozambique," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 52004, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Keeney, Roman & Hertel, Thomas, 2008. "The Indirect Land Use Impacts of U.S. Biofuel Policies: The Importance of Acreage, Yield, and Bilateral Trade Responses," GTAP Working Papers 2810, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  5. Hertel, Thomas & Tyner, Wally & Birur, Dileep, 2008. "Biofuels for all? Understanding the Global Impacts of Multinational Mandates," GTAP Working Papers 2809, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  6. Habib-Mintz, Nazia, 2010. "Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 3985-3997, August.
  7. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
  8. Maurizio Bussolo & Rafael E De Hoyos & Denis Medvedev, 2010. "Economic growth and income distribution: linking macro-economic models with household survey data at the global level," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 3(1), pages 92-103.
  9. Birur, Dileep & Hertel, Thomas & Tyner, Wally, 2008. "Impact of Biofuel Production on World Agricultural Markets: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," GTAP Working Papers 2413, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  10. 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.
  11. Taheripour, Farzad & Dileep Birur & Thomas Hertel & Wally Tyner, 2007. "Introducing Liquid Biofuels into the GTAP Data Base," GTAP Research Memoranda 2534, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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