AEP-53306 Social Costs and Benefits of Biofuels


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Group work3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. D Drabik
Lecturer(s)dr. D Drabik
Examiner(s)dr. D Drabik

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ECH21806 Microeconomics or AEP20306 Economics of Agribusiness.

Continuation courses:

Thesis; UEC-51806 Advanced Microeconomics.


The purpose of this course is to analyze the social costs and benefits of biofuels and biofuel policies (e.g., mandates, tax exemptions, and various subsidies) in assessing a broad spectrum of proclaimed public policy goals (e.g., improving the environment, energy security, or agricultural incomes). The course will shed light on how biofuel policies established the crop-energy price link; on the contradictory effects of combining mandates with different subsidies; and on the various surprising welfare economic effects.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- critically evaluate the economic literature on the topic by identifying problems in particular papers;

- calibrate a basic model for corn-ethanol and canola-oil biodiesel;

- apply the calibrated models by simulating the market and welfare effects of various policy scenarios;

- assess how well the various energy security, environmental and farm policy goals are being achieved.


- attending tutorials;

- discussions with other students;

- reading the assigned literature;

- writing an individual paper.


- individual paper (60%);

- group assignments, presentations and participation in discussion tutorials (40%).


De Gorter, H., Drabik, D., and Just, D.R. 2015. The Economics of Biofuel Policies: Impacts on Price Volatility in Grain and Oilseed Markets. Palgrave Macmillan.