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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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  • R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Do Biofuel Subsidies Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec10-01, International and Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:idc:wpaper:idec10-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bahel, Eric & Marrouch, Walid & Gaudet, Gérard, 2013. "The economics of oil, biofuel and food commodities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 599-617.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 278-289, December.
    4. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Linda Nøstbakken, 2009. "Fuel Versus Food," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 645-663, September.
      • Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Linda Nøstbakken, 2009. "Fuel Versus Food," Post-Print halshs-01117673, HAL.
      • Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Helene & Nostbakken, Linda, 2009. "Fuel versus Food," Working Papers 2009-20, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    5. 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).
    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. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," NBER Working Papers 13454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Murray C. Kemp & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "Extracting Several Resource Deposits of Unknown Size: Optimal Order," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-10, CIRANO.
    9. Sinn, Hans-Werner, . "Das grüne Paradoxon ; Plädoyer für eine illusionsfreie Klimapolitik," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 19627, Jul-Dec.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. The Green Paradox
      by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2010-12-12 17:17:00

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