• David ZilbermanEmail author
  • Madhu Khanna
  • Ben Gordon
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 40)


Agriculture, while one of the oldest industries, has had a high rate of technological change during much of the twentieth century. Every few decades a new sector is added to agriculture and affects the rest of the agricultural sector, primarily by adding a competing demand for land and affecting the prices of crops. The biofuel sector was introduced within the past 30 years and expanded during the first two decades of the twenty-first century. It is a major part of the bioeconomy, which can be broadly defined as “one based on the use of research and innovation in the biological sciences to create economic activity and public benefit,” as described by the US White House, National Bioeconomy Blueprint (2012). With the advance of modern molecular biology, the bioeconomy has expanded from the production of food and fiber to also include fine chemicals and energy, and is likely to grow further. This handbook overviews and analyzes some of the major aspects of the biofuel sector. It also provides a framework to analyze and address other sectors of the bioeconomy and the economics and policy associated with new industries in general.


Biofuel policy Biofuel environmental impact Brazil United States 


  1. Cochrane, W.W. 1979. The development of American agriculture: A historical analysis. U of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.Google Scholar
  2. Hochman, Gal, Steven E. Sexton, and David D. Zilberman. 2008. The economics of biofuel policy and biotechnology. Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization 6 (2).Google Scholar
  3. Housh, Mashor, Madhu Khanna, and Ximing Cai. 2015. Mix of first-and second-generation biofuels to meet multiple environmental objectives: Implications for policy at a watershed scale. Water Economics and Policy 1 (03): 1550006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Khanna, M., and Christine L. Crago. 2012. Measuring indirect land use change with biofuels: Implications for policy. Annual Review of Resource Economics 4 (1): 161–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Khanna, Madhu, Hector M. Nuñez, and David Zilberman. 2016. Who pays and who gains from fuel policies in Brazil? Energy Economics 54: 133–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rajagopal, Deepak, Gal Hochman, and David Zilberman. 2011. Indirect fuel use change (IFUC) and the lifecycle environmental impact of biofuel policies. Energy Policy 39 (1): 228–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rajagopal, D., R. Plevin, G. Hochman, and D. Zilberman. 2015. Multi-objective regulations on transportation fuels: Comparing renewable fuel mandates and emission standards. Energy Economics 49: 359–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Searchinger, T., R. Heimlich, R.A. Houghton, F. Dong, A. Elobeid, J. Fabiosa, S. Tokgoz, D. Hayes, and Y. Tun-Hsiang. 2008. Use of US croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change. Science 319 (5867): 1238–1240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. US White House. 2012. National Bioeconomy Blueprint. Washington DC, The White House, Apr 2012.Google Scholar
  10. Zilberman, D, G Hochman, and D. Rajagopal. 2011. On the inclusion of indirect land use in biofuel. University of Illinois Law Review 413.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Consumer EconomicsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations