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Do Biofuel Subsidies Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

  • R. Quentin Grafton
  • Tom Kompas
  • Ngo Van Long

Conventional wisdom suggests that subsidising biofuel production will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper shows that in many cases, and for a wide range of parameter values, this is not true. Biofuel subsidies can generate supply-side response by fossil fuel producers that accelerates their rate of extraction, even in the case where fossil fuel extraction costs are stock dependent. Thus, policies designed to reduce GHG emissions may, perversely, hasten climate change.

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File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/degrees/idec/working_papers/IDEC10-01.pdf
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Paper provided by International and Development Economics in its series International and Development Economics Working Papers with number idec10-01.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idc:wpaper:idec10-01
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  1. BAHEL, Eric A. & MARROUCH, Walid & GAUDET, Gérard, 2011. "The Economics of Oil, Biofuel and Food Commodities," Cahiers de recherche 2011-02, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Murray C. Kemp & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "Extracting Several Resource Deposits of Unknown Size: Optimal Order," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-10, CIRANO.
  3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," NBER Working Papers 13454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Helene & Nostbakken, Linda, 2009. "Fuel versus Food," Working Papers 2009-20, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  5. Rubio, Santiago J. & Escriche, Luisa, 2001. "Strategic pigouvian taxation, stock externalities and polluting non-renewable resources," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 297-313, February.
  6. Gérard Gaudet, 2007. "Natural resource economics under the rule of Hotelling," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1033-1059, November.
  7. Long, Ngo Van & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1985. "Surprise Price Shifts, Tax Changes and the Supply Behaviour of Resource Extracting Firms," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(45), pages 278-89, December.
  8. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Wall, Howard J., 2009. "Biofuel Subsidies: An Open-Economy Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sinn, Hans-Werner, . "Das grüne Paradoxon ; Plädoyer für eine illusionsfreie Klimapolitik," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 19627.
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