Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Economic Cost of Global Fuel Subsidies

By 2015, global oil consumption will reach 90 million barrels per day.  In part, this high level of consumption reflects the fact that many countries provide subsidies for gasoline and diesel. This paper examines global fuel subsidies using the latest available data from the World Bank, finding that road-sector subsidies for gasoline and diesel totaled $110 billion in 2012. Pricing fuels below cost is inefficient because it leads to overconsumption. Under baseline assumptions about supply and demand elasticities, the total annual deadweight loss worldwide is $44 billion. Incorporating external costs increases the economic costs substantially

ExxonMobil oil refinery in Baton Rouge (2nd-largest in the U. S.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_refinery
by Lucas W. Davis
University of California at Berkeley Department of Economics
Energy and Environmental Economics Working Paper WP-069; December, 2013

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