NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Demand for Ethanol as a Gasoline Substitute

Soren T. Anderson

NBER Working Paper No. 16371
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   EEE

This paper estimates household preferences for ethanol as a gasoline substitute. I develop a theoretical model linking the shape of the ethanol demand curve to the distribution of price ratios at which individual households switch fuels. I estimate the model using data from many retail fueling stations. Demand is price-sensitive with a mean elasticity of 2.5–3.5. I find that preferences are heterogeneous with many households willing to pay a premium for ethanol. This reduces the simulated cost of an ethanol content standard, since some households choose ethanol without large subsidies; simulated costs are still high relative to likely environmental benefits.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16371

Published: Anderson, Soren T., 2012. "The demand for ethanol as a gasoline substitute," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 151-168.

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