Date of Award:

12-2010

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Kenneth Lyon

Abstract

The first essay formulates a dynamic general equilibrium optimal control model of an energy crop as part of a country's planned resource use over a period of time. The model attempts to allocate consumption, production, and factors of production to achieve the country's sustainable development goal. A Cobb-Douglas specification is used for both utility and production functions in the model. We calibrate the model with Thailand data. The selected model is used to generate the stationary state solution and to simulate the optimal policy function and optimal time paths. Two methods are used: a linear approximation method and the Runke-Kutta reverse shooting method. The model provides numerical results that can be used as information for decision makers and stakeholders to devise an economic plan to achieve sustainable development goals.

The second essay studies the effect of international trade and changes in labor supply, land supply, and the price of imported energy on energy crop production for bio fuel and food, as well as impacts on social welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to describe two baseline scenarios, a closed economy and an open economy. We find that international trade increases welfare and decreases the energy price. Furthermore, resources are allocated to produce more food under the open economy scenario than the quantities produced under a closed economy assumption. An increase in labor supply and land supply result in an increase in social welfare. An increase in imported energy price leads to a welfare loss, higher energy production, and lower food production.

The third essay develops a partial equilibrium econometric model to project the impacts of an increase in ethanol production on the Thai agriculture sector over the next ten years. The model is applied to three scenarios for analyzing the effect of government ethanol production targets. The results from the baseline model and scenario analysis indicate that an expansion in ethanol production will result in a significant increase in cassava production, price, and land use. The increase in cassava production will shift land use from maize and sugar cane, thus increasing in price of maize.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on November 29, 2010.

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