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The effect of biofuel on the international oil market

Author

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  • Hochman, Gal
  • Rajagopal, Deepak
  • Zilberman, David D.

Abstract

This paper derives a method to quantify the impact of biofuel on fuel markets, assuming that these markets are dominated by cartel of oil-rich countries, and that prices in these countries are set to maximize the sum of domestic consumer and producer surplus, leading to a wedge between domestic and international fuel prices. We model this behavior by applying the optimal export tax model (henceforth, the cartel-of-nations model) to the fuel markets. Using data from 2007 to calibrate the model, we show that the introduction of biofuels reduces global fossil fuel consumption and international fuel prices by about 1% and 2%, respectively. We identify large differences between the effects of introducing biofuels using the cartel-of-nations model, in contrast to the competitive or the standard cartel model (henceforth, the cartel-of-�firms model). Given that the cartel-of-nations model correctly captures fuel markets, we illustrate that assessing the effect of introducing biofuels under a competitive fuel markets overestimates the reduction in fuel price, and underestimates the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, and therefore the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Similar conclusions are derived with respect to cartel-of-�firms model. Finally, we illustrate that a 20% increase in fuel demand more than doubles the impact of biofuels on fuel markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Hochman, Gal & Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David D., 2010. "The effect of biofuel on the international oil market," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0k93s7zg, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt0k93s7zg
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dees, Stephane & Karadeloglou, Pavlos & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Sanchez, Marcelo, 2007. "Modelling the world oil market: Assessment of a quarterly econometric model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 178-191, January.
    2. Moran, Theodore H., 1981. "Modeling OPEC behavior: economic and political alternatives," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 241-272, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio M. Bento, Richard Klotz, and Joel R. Landry, 2015. "Are there Carbon Savings from US Biofuel Policies? The Critical Importance of Accounting for Leakage in Land and Fuel Markets," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    2. Thompson, Wyatt & Whistance, Jarrett & Meyer, Seth, 2011. "Effects of US biofuel policies on US and world petroleum product markets with consequences for greenhouse gas emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5509-5518, September.
    3. Klotz, Richard & Bento, Antonio M. & Landry, Joel R., 2013. "Economic Insights Required for Using Lifecycle Analysis for Policy Decisions," 2014 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2014, Philadelphia, PA 161654, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. U. Martin Persson, 2015. "The impact of biofuel demand on agricultural commodity prices: a systematic review," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(5), pages 410-428, September.
    5. Mads Greaker & Michael Hoel & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2014. "Does a Renewable Fuel Standard for Biofuels Reduce Climate Costs?," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 337-363.
    6. Chen, Xiaoguang & Huang, Haixiao & Khanna, Madhu & Önal, Hayri, 2014. "Alternative transportation fuel standards: Welfare effects and climate benefits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 241-257.
    7. Philip Abbott, 2014. "Biofuels, Binding Constraints, and Agricultural Commodity Price Volatility," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 91-131 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hill, Jason & Tajibaeva, Liaila & Polasky, Stephen, 2016. "Climate consequences of low-carbon fuels: The United States Renewable Fuel Standard," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 351-353.
    9. Doshi, Amar & Pascoe, Sean & Coglan, Louisa & Rainey, Thomas J., 2016. "Economic and policy issues in the production of algae-based biofuels: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 329-337.
    10. Maura Allaire and Stephen P. A. Brown, 2015. "The Green Paradox of U.S. Biofuel Subsidies: Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    11. Sexton, Steven & Eyer, Jonathan, 2016. "Leveling the playing field of transportation fuels: Accounting for indirect emissions of natural gas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 21-31.
    12. Drabik, Dušan & de Gorter, Harry, 2013. "Emissions from Indirect Land Use Change: Do they Matter with Fuel Market Leakages?," Review of Agricultural and Applied Economics (RAAE), Faculty of Economics and Management, Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra Provider-Homepage: http://www.roaae.org;Association of Agricultural Economists in Slovakia (APES), vol. 16(2).
    13. Philip Abbott, 2013. "Biofuels, Binding Constraints and Agricultural Commodity Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 18873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2013. "On market-mediated emissions and regulations on life cycle emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 77-84.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; OPEC; biofuel; fuel; carbon savings; optimal export tax model; cheap oil; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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