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Economics of Biofuels: An Overview of Policies, Impacts and Prospects

  • Moschini, GianCarlo
  • Cui, Jingbo
  • Lapan, Harvey

This paper provides an overview of the economics of biofuels. It starts by describing the remarkable growth of the biofuel industry over the last decade, with emphasis on developments in the United States, Brazil and the European Union, and it identifies the driving role played by some critical policies. After a brief discussion of the motivations that are commonly argued in favor of biofuels and biofuel policies, the paper presents an assessment of the impacts of biofuels from the economics perspective. In particular, the paper explains the basic analytics of biofuel mandates, reviews several existing studies that have estimated the economic impacts of biofuels, presents some insights from a specific model, and outlines an appraisal of biofuel policies and the environmental impacts of biofuels. The paper concludes with an examination of several open issues and the future prospects of biofuels.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 35548.

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Date of creation: 24 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35548
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

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  1. Cui, Jingbo & Lapan, Harvey E. & Moschini, GianCarlo & Cooper, Joseph, 2010. "Welfare Impacts of Alternative Biofuel and Energy Policies," Staff General Research Papers 31618, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jerome Dumortier & Dermot J. Hayes & Miguel Carriquiry & Fengxia Dong & Xiaodong Du & Amani Elobeid & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Simla Tokgoz, 2011. "Sensitivity of Carbon Emission Estimates from Indirect Land-Use Change," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 673.
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  16. Xiaoguang Chen & Haixiao Huang & Madhu Khanna & Hayri Önal, 2011. "Meeting the Mandate for Biofuels: Implications for Land Use, Food, and Fuel Prices," NBER Chapters, in: The Intended and Unintended Effects of U.S. Agricultural and Biotechnology Policies, pages 223-267 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Alison Burrell & Maria Blanco & Stephan Hubertus Gay & Martin Henseler & Aikaterini Kavallari & Robert M'barek & Ignacio Perez & Axel Tonini, 2010. "Impacts of the EU Biofuel Target on Agricultural Markets and Land Use - A Comparative Modelling Assessment," JRC-IPTS Working Papers JRC58484, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  18. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2007. "Review of environmental, economic and policy aspects of biofuels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4341, The World Bank.
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  20. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  21. Hayes, Dermot J. & Babcock, Bruce A. & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Elobeid, Amani E. & Yu, Tun-Hsiang (Edward) & Dong, Fengxia & Hart, Chad E. & Chavez, Eddie C. & Pan, Suwen & Carriquiry, M, 2009. "Biofuels: Potential Production Capacity, Effects on Grain and Livestock Sectors, and Implications for Food Prices and Consumers," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(02), August.
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  29. Lapan, Harvey & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Second-best biofuel policies and the welfare effects of quantity mandates and subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 224-241.
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