CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-169

Title: The Downside of Domestic Substitution of Oil with Biofuels: Will Brazil Catch the Dutch Disease?

Authors: James A. Giesecke , J. Mark Horridge and Jose A. Scaramucci


In response to oil price rises and carbon emission concerns, policies promoting increased ethanol usage in gasoline blends are being implemented by many countries, including major energy users such as USA, EU and Japan. As a result, Brazil, as the largest ethanol producer and exporter in the world, can expect growing foreign demand for ethanol exports. Also, the introduction of flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil is causing domestic sales of ethanol to increase steadily. In this paper, we investigate the regional and industrial economic consequences of rapid growth in Brazilian ethanol consumption and exports. For this, we use a disaggregated multi-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model with energy industry detail. Our modelling emphasises a number of features of ethanol production in Brazil which we expect to be important in determining the adjustment of its regional economies to a substantial expansion in ethanol production. These include regional differences in ethanol and sugar production technologies, sugarcane harvesting methods and the elasticity of land supply to sugarcane production.

JEL classification: D58, Q13, Q42, R11, R49.

Please cite the later published version in:
'Brazilian Regional Structural Adjustment to Rapid Growth in Global Ethanol Demand', Studies in Regional Science, 2009, Vol. 39(1), pp. 189-207.

Keywords: CGE models, energy, ethanol, Brazil.

Working Paper Number G-169 can be downloaded in PDF format.

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