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Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?

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  • Chakravorty, Ujjayant
  • Hubert, Marie-Hélène
  • Moreaux, Michel
  • Nostbakken, Linda

Abstract

Biofuels have received a lot of attention as a substitute for gasoline in transportation. They have also been blamed for recent increases in food prices. Both the United States and the European Union have adopted mandatory blending policies that require a sharp increase in the use of biofuels. In this paper, we examine the effect of these mandates on food prices and carbon emissions. The model we use considers future world population growth and income-driven changes in dietary preferences towards higher meat and dairy consumption as well as heterogenous land quality. We find that food prices increase anyway because of increased demand for food, especially due to the higher consumption of meat products, and scarcity of fertile arable lands. The contribution of the biofuel mandates to food prices is quite small, about 5% at most. However, biofuel mandates actually increase global emissions due to land conversion and terms of trade effects, undermining the main reason for imposing the mandates.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Hubert, Marie-Hélène & Moreaux, Michel & Nostbakken, Linda, 2010. "Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?," LERNA Working Papers 10.20.326, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:10.20.326
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    File URL: http://www2.toulouse.inra.fr/lerna/travaux/cahiers2010/10.20.326.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2010. "The Social Costs and Benefits of Biofuels: The Intersection of Environmental, Energy and Agricultural Policy," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 4-32.
    3. Mark W. Rosegrant & Tingju Zhu & Siwa Msangi & Timothy Sulser, 2008. "Global Scenarios for Biofuels: Impacts and Implications," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 495-505.
    4. Hamelinck, Carlo N & Faaij, Andre P.C., 2006. "Outlook for advanced biofuels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3268-3283, November.
    5. Banse, Martin & van Meijl, Hans & Tabeau, Andrzej A. & Woltjer, Geert B., 2008. "Impact of EU Biofuel Policies on World Agricultural and Food Markets," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6476, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Anselm Eisentraut, 2010. "Sustainable Production of Second-Generation Biofuels: Potential and Perspectives in Major Economies and Developing Countries," IEA Energy Papers 2010/1, OECD Publishing.
    7. G. C. van Kooten & Henk Folmer, 2004. "Land and Forest Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3466.
    8. Chantreuil, Frederic & Tabeau, Andrzej A. & van Leeuwen, Myrna, 2008. "Estimation of impact of EU agricultural policies on the world market prices," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6671, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bryngelsson, David K. & Lindgren, Kristian, 2013. "Why large-scale bioenergy production on marginal land is unfeasible: A conceptual partial equilibrium analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 454-466.
    2. Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom & Van Long, Ngo, 2012. "Substitution between biofuels and fossil fuels: Is there a green paradox?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 328-341.
    3. Karel Janda & Ladislav Kristoufek & David Zilberman, 2011. "Modeling the Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts of Biofuels," Working Papers IES 2011/33, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Oct 2011.
    4. Jevgenijs Steinbuks & Thomas W. Hertel, 2016. "Confronting the Food–Energy–Environment Trilemma: Global Land Use in the Long Run," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(3), pages 545-570, March.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12798 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Catherine Hausman & Maximilian Auffhammer & Peter Berck, 2012. "Farm Acreage Shocks and Crop Prices: An SVAR Approach to Understanding the Impacts of Biofuels," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(1), pages 117-136, September.
    7. Paltsev, Sergey, 2012. "Implications of Alternative Mitigation Policies on World Prices for Fossil Fuels and Agricultural Products," WIDER Working Paper Series 065, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Nuppenau, Ernst-August, 2015. "Mitigation of Large-Scale Biofuel Expansion with Smallholder Conflict: Modelling of Land Use Dynamics using Control Theory for Policy Design to Sustain Food Security and Improve Productivity," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 225669, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Ngo Van LONG, 2014. "The Green Paradox under Imperfect Substitutability between Clean and Dirty Fuels," Cahiers de recherche 02-2014, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    10. Janda, Karel & Kristoufek, Ladislav & Zilberman, David, 2011. "Biofuels: Review of Policies and Impacts," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5v1112qr, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    11. Onno Kuik, 2014. "REDD+ and international leakage via food and timber markets: a CGE analysis," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 641-655, August.
    12. Steinbuks, Jevgenijs & Satija, Gaurav & Zhao, Fu, 2015. "Sustainability of solar electricity : the role of endogenous resource substitution and market mediated responses," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7178, The World Bank.
    13. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Gal Hochman & Scott Kaplan & Deepak Rajagopal & David Zilberman, 2012. "Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-10, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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