EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Who did the ethanol tax credit benefit? An event analysis of subsidy incidence

David A. Bielen, Richard Newell () and William Pizer

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 161, issue C, 1-14

Abstract: At the end of 2011, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which had subsidized the blending of ethanol in gasoline, was allowed to expire. During its tenure, the subsidy was the subject of intense scrutiny concerning who benefited from its existence. Using commodity price data, we estimate the subsidy incidence accruing to corn farmers, ethanol producers, gasoline blenders, and gasoline consumers around the time of expiration. Our empirical approach contributes methodologically to the event studies literature by analyzing futures contract prices (as opposed to spot prices) when possible. Ultimately, we find compelling evidence that, at the date of VEETC expiration, ethanol producers captured about 25¢ of the 45¢ subsidy per gallon of ethanol blended. We find suggestive, albeit inconclusive, evidence that a portion of this benefit (about 5¢ per gallon) was passed further upstream from ethanol producers to corn farmers. Most of the remainder seems most likely to have been captured by the blenders themselves. On the petroleum side, we find no evidence that oil refiners captured any part of the subsidy. We also find no evidence that the subsidy was passed downstream to gasoline consumers in the form of lower gasoline prices.

Keywords: Ethanol; Subsidy; Tax credit; Policy; Incidence; Event study; Futures price (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H22 Q11 Q41 Q42 Q47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272718300458
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Who Did the Ethanol Tax Credit Benefit? An Event Analysis of Subsidy Incidence (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:161:y:2018:i:c:p:1-14

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Public Economics is currently edited by R. Boadway and J. Poterba

More articles in Journal of Public Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-21
Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:161:y:2018:i:c:p:1-14