The biofuel-development nexus: A meta-analysis
Abstract. While the production of biofuels has expanded in recent years, findings in the literature on its impact on growth and development remain contradictory. This paper presents a meta-analysis of computable general equilibrium studies published between 2006 and 2014. Using 26 studies, we shed light on why their results differ. We investigate factors such as biofuel type, geographic area and the characteristics of models employed. Our results indicate that the outcomes of CGE simulations are sensitive to model parameters and also suggest heterogenous effects of biofuel expansion between developed / emerging countries and Sub-Saharan African countries. Our quantitative meta-analysis complements existing narrative surveys and confirms that results are sensitive to key hypotheses on essential parameters. Simulations on longer time periods and in multi-country studies lead to results that indicate higher impacts of biofuel expansion on growth and household income. Moreover, simulations with a shock in agricultural productivity indicate positive welfare gains, unlike simulations with a shock on land expansion. Lastly, we find that biodiesels lead to higher welfare gains than biofuels.