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Fuel versus Food

Ujjayant Chakravorty (), Marie-Hélène Hubert and Linda Nøstbakken

No 2009-20, Working Papers from University of Alberta, Department of Economics

Abstract: Many countries are actively encouraging the supply of biofuels as a low carbon alternative to the use of fossil fuels for transportation. To what extent do these trends imply a reallocation of scarce land away from food to fuel production? This paper critically reviews the small but growing literature in this area. We find that an increase in biofuel production may have a significant effect on food prices and in certain parts of the world, in speeding up deforestation through land conversion. However, more work needs to be done to examine the effect of newer generation biofuel technologies that are less land-intensive as well as the effect of environmental regulation and trade policies on land allocation between fuel and food.

Keywords: agricultural production; biofuel economics; climate policy; environmental regulation; land allocation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2009-04-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ene, nep-env and nep-reg
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