Past Seminar

Effects of Biofuel on Food Prices and Poverty

May 3, 2012 Webcast

About the Event

Effects of Biofuel Policy on Food Prices and Poverty
RFF Academic Seminar
Ujjayant Chakravorty, University Professor and Canada Research Chair, Alberta School of Business and Department of Economics Fellow, Toulouse School of Economics
Institute for Policy & Social Research, Professor of Economics, The University of Kansas 

More than 40% of US grain is now used to produce biofuels, which are used as substitutes for gasoline in transportation. Biofuels have been blamed universally for recent increases in world food prices. Many studies have shown that these energy mandates in the US and EU may have a large (30-60%) impact on food prices. In this paper we show that demand-side effects - in the form of population growth and income-driven preferences for meat and dairy products rather than cereals - may play as much of a role in raising food prices as biofuel policy. Because of new land that can be brought under farming, the rise in food prices is likely to be much smaller than predicted by other studies. However, biofuels may increase aggregate world carbon emissions, due to leakage and conversion of new land for farming.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch will be provided.
7th Floor Conference Room
1616 P St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Khadija Hill at (tel. 202-328-5174). Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at


  • Ujjayant Chakravorty