On the (De)Stabilization Effects of Biofuels: Relative Contributions of Policy Instruments and Market Forces

Ethanol production has recently surged in response to biofuel policies and increased fossil oil prices. We develop a partial equilibrium model focused on U.S. corn-based ethanol production with downside risk-averse farmers to assess the consequences of ethanol production on agricultural volatility. We report substantial effects on the distribution of corn prices with increases in the variance of prices received by farmers. Risk-averse corn farmers still benefit due to the higher mean price effect. From a methodological perspective, this analysis reveals that downside risk aversion may be important.
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Gohin, Alexandre; Treguer, David, On the (De)Stabilization Effects of Biofuels: Relative Contributions of Policy Instruments and Market Forces, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 35, Issue 1, April 2010, Pages 72-86

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