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dc.contributor.authorSalvo, Albertoen_US
dc.contributor.authorHuse, Christianen_US
dc.contributor.authorGoldbaum, Sergioen_US
dc.contributor.authorLima, Fernandaen_US
dc.description.abstractAs much of the world goes searching for alternative sources of energy to oil, Brazil's three-decade experience in developing a successful substitute for gasoline merits attention. Brazil is the only sizable economy to date to have developed a ubiquitously distributed alternative to oil-based fuels in road transportation: ethanol from sugarcane. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the uptake of flexible-fuel (dual-fuel) vehicle technology has been tremendous. We provide a stylized model of the vertical sugar industry which incorporates arbitrage by producers, across domestic and export markets for ethanol and sugar, and arbitrage by consumers, across ethanol and gasoline at the pump. We show that the model stands up well to the empirical covariation in prices over 30 years. In particular, owing to the increasing penetration of flexible-fuel vehicles, consumer arbitrage is tying the retail price of ethanol to that of gasoline. Of relevance to the current food-versus-fuel” debate, the outward shift of the ethanol demand curve, at price levels where traditional gasoline consumers arbitrage, may lead to higher sugar prices, thanks to substitution in demand (gasoline and ethanol) and in supply (sugar and ethanol).en_US
dc.publisherCenter for the Study of Industrial Organization at Northwestern Univ. Evanston, Ill.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCSIO working paper 0093en_US
dc.subject.keywordfood pricesen_US
dc.subject.keywordcommodity pricesen_US
dc.subject.keywordfood-versus-fuel debateen_US
dc.subject.keywordexport price flooren_US
dc.subject.keywordprice convergenceen_US
dc.subject.keywordflexible-fuel vehiclesen_US
dc.titleIs arbitrage tying the price of ethanol to that of gasoline? Evidence from the uptake of flexible-fuel technologyen_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US
Appears in Collections:CSIO Electronic Working Papers, Northwestern University

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