- Repository URL:
- biofuel policies; food insecurity; CGE
thesis / dissertation description
The food vs. fuel debate has heated up since the 2008 global food crisis when major crop prices dramatically increased. Heavily subsidized biofuel production was blamed for diverting food crops from food production and diverting resources from food and feed production, triggering a food crisis globally and leading to increases in the world food insecure population. Few studies have quantified the effects of biofuel policies on world food prices and world food insecurity. This study added the Brazil and China's biofuel sectors to an existing global trade CGE model, and applies the measurement of food insecurity as developed by FAO. Alternative scenarios were food insecurity. Results are examined with focus on (1) effects on domestic biofuel productions, (2) change in food commodity productions and trade, (3) change in land use and land rents, and (4) change in regional undernourished populations. Results indicated that biofuel expansion is not cost competitive to traditional fossil fuel. Without any policy incentives, huge expansion of biofuel production is not likely under current technology. The conventional biofuel mandates in U.S., Brazil and China lead to increases in world food insecurity, while the advanced biofuel mandate in U.S. has the opposite effect. Subsidies to biofuels production help to lessen the increase in world food insecurity that is caused by increases in conventional biofuel production. Additionally, the effects from U.S. biofuel policies are smaller but more widespread than the effects from Brazil or China's biofuel policies. Overall, the long term effects of biofuel production expansion on world food insecurity are much smaller than expected.