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Fiscal policy challenges in oil-exporting countries – a review of key issues

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  • Michael Sturm
  • François Gurtner
  • Juan Gonzalez Alegre

Abstract

Fiscal policy choices have a particularly significant impact on economic performance in oil-exporting countries, owing to the importance of the oil sector in the economy and the fact that in most countries oil revenues accrue to the government. At the same time, fiscal policy in oil-centred economies s facing specific challenges, both in the long run, as regards intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability, and in the short run, as regards macroeconomic stabilisation and fiscal planning. Institutional responses to the specific fiscal challenges in oil-exporting countries involve conservative oil price assumptions in the budget, the establishment of oil stabilisation and savings funds and fiscal rules. Fiscal policy in most oil-exporting countries has been expansionary over the past years in the wake of high oil prices. Fiscal expansion has added to inflationary pressure, and monetary policy has been constrained in tackling inflation as a result of prevailing exchange rate regimes. While, in this context, fiscal policy is the major tool for macroeconomic stabilisation, it has faced competing objectives and considerations. Cyclical considerations would have warranted fiscal restraint, but, in times of high oil prices, pressures to increase public spending have been mounting. Such pressures stem from primarily distribution-related considerations, development-related spending needs (e.g. in the areas of physical and social infrastructure) and international considerations in the context of, for example, global imbalances. The sharp fall in oil prices since mid-2008 has brought to the fore a different question – whether oil exporters can sustain spending levels reached in previous years. JEL Classification: E62, E63, H30, H60, Q32, Q38.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 104.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20090104

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Related research

Keywords: Fiscal policy; oil-exporting countries; inflation; global imbalances.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hamdi, Helmi & Sbia, Rashid, 2013. "Dynamic relationships between oil revenues, government spending and economic growth in an oil-dependent economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 118-125.
  2. Syed Abul Basher & Elsayed Mousa Elsamadisy, 2012. "Country heterogeneity and long-run determinants of inflation in the Gulf Arab states," OPEC Energy Review, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, vol. 36(2), pages 170-203, 06.
  3. Stuart Landon & Constance Smith, 2010. "Government Revenue Volatility: The Case of Alberta, an Energy Dependent Economy," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2010_23, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  4. Fakhri Hasanov, 2012. "The impact of the real exchange rate on non-oil exports. Is there an asymmetric adjustment towards the equilibrium?," Working Papers 2012-005, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  5. Hasanov, Fakhri & Huseynov, Fariz, 2013. "Bank credits and non-oil economic growth: Evidence from Azerbaijan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 597-610.
  6. Basher, Syed Abul, 2010. "Has the non-oil sector decoupled from oil sector? A case study of Gulf Cooperation Council Countries," MPRA Paper 21059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Montero Luque, Inmaculada Maria & Peeters, Marga, 2009. "Euro-Mediterranean Process - Union for the Mediterranean: Macroeconomic and financial developments during the global crisis at the southern rim of the Mediterranean," MPRA Paper 23858, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2010.
  8. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 2014. "Rule-Based Resource Revenue Stabilization Funds: A Welfare Comparison," Working Papers 2014-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  9. Basher, Syed Abul & Fachin, Stefano, 2011. "The long-run relationship between savings and investment in oil-exporting developing countries: A case study of the Gulf Arab States," MPRA Paper 29077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Marga PEETERS, 2011. "The Changing Pattern in International Trade and Capital Flows of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries in Comparison with other Oil-Exporting Countries," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(7), pages 29, December.
  11. Emami, Karim & Adibpour, Mehdi, 2012. "Oil income shocks and economic growth in Iran," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1774-1779.
  12. Stuart Landon & Constance Smith, 2010. "Energy Prices and Alberta Government Revenue Volatility," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 313, November.

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