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The Demand for Ethanol as a Gasoline Substitute

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  • Soren T. Anderson

Abstract

This paper estimates household preferences for ethanol as a gasoline substitute. I develop a theoretical model linking the shape of the ethanol demand curve to the distribution of price ratios at which individual households switch fuels. I estimate the model using data from many retail fueling stations. Demand is price-sensitive with a mean elasticity of 2.5-3.5. I find that preferences are heterogeneous with many households willing to pay a premium for ethanol. This reduces the simulated cost of an ethanol content standard, since some households choose ethanol without large subsidies; simulated costs are still high relative to likely environmental benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Soren T. Anderson, 2010. "The Demand for Ethanol as a Gasoline Substitute," NBER Working Papers 16371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16371
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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