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Oil Price Effects on Land Use Competition – An Empirical Analysis

  • Matthias Diermeier
  • Torsten Schmidt

    ()

The increasing use of food commodities for biofuel production has substantial impact on prices and quantities of these and other food commodities. It is therefore likely that this trend also intensifies the competition for arable land. However, evidence for this hypothesis is generated by calibrated models while empirical evidence is rare. In this paper we analyze the effects of crude oil price and prices of input factors for biofuel production on prices, areas and quantities of selected food commodities empirically performing Granger causality and cointegration tests as well as calculating impulse response functions. On the world aggregated level we reveal that the crude petroleum price only Granger causes the price of maize and wheat but the area used for the production of maize, soybean oil, sugar and wheat. The effect on wheat indicates an indirect effect on land use. Moreover, the price index of fats and oils has a stronger effect on prices, areas and quantities of other food commodities. At the country level, we identify that for the U.S., the maize price is the key variable influencing area and quantity of cereals. Additionally, in Indonesia and Malaysia we find that the palm oil price has significant effects on the area and quantity of rice. Despite these positive effects of commodity prices on land use we find no evidence for direct land competition between oil crops and cereals.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0340.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0340
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  1. Harri, Ardian & Nalley, Lawton Lanier & Hudson, Darren, 2009. "The Relationship between Oil, Exchange Rates, and Commodity Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(02), August.
  2. Jörg Peters & Sascha Thielmann, 2008. "Promoting Biofuels: Implications for Developing Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0038, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Saraly Andrade de Sa & Charles Palmer & Stefanie Engel, 2010. "Ethanol production, food and forests," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27950, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Murphy, Richard & Woods, Jeremy & Black, Mairi & McManus, Marcelle, 2011. "Global developments in the competition for land from biofuels," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(S1), pages S52-S61.
  5. Rathmann, Régis & Szklo, Alexandre & Schaeffer, Roberto, 2010. "Land use competition for production of food and liquid biofuels: An analysis of the arguments in the current debate," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 14-22.
  6. Angelsen, Arild, 1999. "Agricultural expansion and deforestation: modelling the impact of population, market forces and property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 185-218, February.
  7. Yu, Tun-Hsiang (Edward) & Bessler, David A. & Fuller, Stephen W., 2006. "Cointegration and Causality Analysis of World Vegetable Oil and Crude Oil Prices," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21439, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Campiche, Jody L. & Bryant, Henry L. & Richardson, James W. & Outlaw, Joe L., 2007. "Examining the Evolving Correspondence Between Petroleum Prices and Agricultural Commodity Prices," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9881, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  9. Muhammad, Andrew & Kebede, Ellene, 2009. "The Emergence of an Agro-Energy Sector: Is Agriculture Importing Instability from the Oil Sector?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 24(1).
  10. Saghaian, Sayed H., 2010. "The Impact of the Oil Sector on Commodity Prices: Correlation or Causation?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 42(03), August.
  11. 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.
  12. Murphy, Richard & Woods, Jeremy & Black, Mairi & McManus, Marcelle, 2011. "Global developments in the competition for land from biofuels," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages S52-S61, January.
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