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The Renewable Fuel Standard in Competitive Equilibrium: Market and Welfare Effects

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Abstract

We construct a tractable multi-market equilibrium model designed to evaluate alternative biofuel policies. The model integrates the US agricultural sector with the energy sector and it explicitly considers both US ethanol and biodiesel production. The model provides a structural representation of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) policies, and it uses the arbitrage conditions defining the core value of renewable identification number (RIN) prices to identify the relevant competitive equilibrium conditions. The model is parameterized, based on elasticities and technical coefficients from the literature, to represent observed 2015 data. The model is simulated to analyze alternative scenarios, including: repeal of the RFS; projected 2022 RFS mandates; and, optimal (second best) mandates. The results confirm that the current RFS program considerably benefits the agriculture sector, but also leads to overall welfare gains for the United States (mostly via beneficial terms of trade effects). Implementation of projected 2022 mandates, which would require further expansion of biodiesel production, would lead to a considerable welfare loss (relative to 2015 mandate levels). Constrained (second-best) optimal mandates would entail more corn-based ethanol and less biodiesel than currently mandated.

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  • GianCarlo Moschini & Harvey E. Lapan & Hyunseok Kim, 2017. "The Renewable Fuel Standard in Competitive Equilibrium: Market and Welfare Effects," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 17-wp575, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:17-wp575
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    Cited by:

    1. Luo, Jinjing & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2019. "Pass-through of the policy-induced E85 subsidy: Insights from Hotelling's model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    2. Gabriel E. Lade & C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell, 2021. "The Design of Renewable Fuel Mandates and Cost Containment Mechanisms," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 79(2), pages 213-247, June.
    3. Brinkman, Marnix L.J. & Wicke, Birka & Faaij, André P.C. & van der Hilst, Floor, 2019. "Projecting socio-economic impacts of bioenergy: Current status and limitations of ex-ante quantification methods," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    4. Christina Korting & Harry de Gorter & David R Just, 2019. "Who Will Pay for Increasing Biofuel Mandates? Incidence of the Renewable Fuel Standard Given a Binding Blend Wall," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 101(2), pages 492-506.
    5. Beaudoin, Justin & Chen, Yuan & Heres, David R. & Kheiravar, Khaled H. & Lade, Gabriel E. & Yi, Fujin & Zhang, Wei & Lin Lawell, C.-Y. Cynthia, 2018. "Environmental Policies in the Transportation Sector: Taxes, Subsidies, Mandates, Restrictions, and Investment," ISU General Staff Papers 201808150700001050, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Nicholas J. Pates & Nathan P. Hendricks, 2021. "Fields from Afar: Evidence of Heterogeneity in United States Corn Rotational Response from Remote Sensing Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(5), pages 1759-1782, October.
    7. Iglesias Pinedo, Wilman J., 2021. "The impact of Renewable Energy Standards on the biomass supply and agricultural land demand in the US Great Plains Region," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314085, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Hyunseok Kim & GianCarlo Moschini, 2018. "The Dynamics of Supply: U.S. Corn and Soybeans in the Biofuel Era," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 18-wp579, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    9. Kim, Hyunseok, 2019. "Assessing Alternative Renewable Energy Policies in Korea’s Electricity Market," KDI Journal of Economic Policy, Korea Development Institute (KDI), vol. 41(4), pages 67-99.
    10. Clark Lundberg & Tristan Skolrud & Bahram Adrangi & Arjun Chatrath, 2021. "Oil Price Pass through to Agricultural Commodities†," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(2), pages 721-742, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation

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