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Welfare Changes from the U.S. Ethanol Tax Credit: The Role of Uncertainty and Interlinked Commodity Markets


  • Mindy L. Baker


A model of the corn, soybean, and wheat markets calculates welfare effects of the U.S. ethanol tax credit. Crop yields are uncertain, and demand consists of feed, food, energy, and exports. Modeling uncertainty in crop yields allows the valuation of deficiency payments as options. Disaggregating demand records who benefits from the tax credit and by how much; incorporating linked crop markets captures indirect effects important for determining the transfer from consumers to producers. There is $600 million in net welfare loss, increased taxpayer liability, and a large transfer from consumers to farmers. A brief comparison of recent literature is included.

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  • Mindy L. Baker, 2008. "Welfare Changes from the U.S. Ethanol Tax Credit: The Role of Uncertainty and Interlinked Commodity Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 08-wp483, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:08-wp483

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2007. "The Welfare Economics of a Biofuel Tax Credit and the Interaction Effects with Price Contingent Farm Subsidies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(2), pages 477-488.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bullock David S. & Couleau Anabelle, 2014. "Policy Analysis in Welfare and Policy Spaces: Applications to the Labyrinthine U.S. Ethanol Policy Literature," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Bullock, David S. & Couleau, Anabelle, 2012. "The U.S. Ethanol and Commodity Policy Labyrinth: Looking into Welfare Space to Analyze Policies that Combine Multiple Instruments," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126901, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    biofuel; commodity; ethanol; tax credit; uncertainty; welfare.;

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