Land Use Change Impacts of Biofuels: Near-VAR Evidence from the US
The present paper studies the land use change impacts of fuels and biofuels. We test the theoretical hypothesis, which says that changes in fuel prices cause changes in land use both directly and indirectly and, because of price inter-dependencies, biofuels reinforce the land use change impacts. Our data consists of yearly observations extending from 1950 to 2007 for the US, to which we apply time-series analytical mechanisms of five major traded agricultural commodities, the area of cultivated agricultural land and crude oil price. The empirical findings confirm that markets for crude oil and cultivated agricultural land are interdependent: an increase in oil price by 1 dollar/barrel increases land use between 54 and 68 thousand hectares. We also find that the rise of bioenergy sector accelerates land use change in the US.
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