Will Biofuel Mandates Raise Food Prices?
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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- 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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