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Abstract

We investigate effects of corn-based ethanol plants on local land uses using county-level panel data for Iowa for 1997 through 2009 and an Arellano-Bond difference-generalized method-of-moments estimator. Our results show that ethanol plants have statistically significant effects on the proportion of acres planted to corn in the plants' host counties. Furthermore, ceteris paribus, the land-use-change effect of locally owned plants (owned by local farmers or cooperatives) is about twice as large as the effect of plants with nonlocal owners. Environmental implications of the land-use change effect also are explored.

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