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Aggressive Oil Extraction and Precautionary Saving: Coping with Volatility

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  • Frederick van der Ploeg

Abstract

The effects of stochastic future oil prices on optimal oil extraction paths and optimal tax, spending and government debt policies are analyzed when demand for oil is linear and preferences quadratic. Without prudence, optimal oil extraction is governed by the Hotelling rule and optimal budgetary policies by the tax smoothing principle. With prudence, the government depletes oil reserves more aggressively and engages in precautionary saving financed by postponing spending and bringing taxes forward, especially if it has substantial monopoly power on the oil market, gives high priority to the public spending target and is very prudent, and future oil demand has high variance. If the oil market is fairly competitive, prudent governments deliberately under-estimate oil reserves and under-predict future oil prices. This leads to less aggressive oil depletion and less government saving. However, if the government attaches high priority to raising public spending to its bliss level, prudence implies a tendency to over-predict future oil prices and reserves which induces more aggressive oil depletion and more government saving. Uncertain economic prospects induce precautionary saving and more aggressive oil extraction.

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Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 021.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:021

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Keywords: Hotelling rule; tax smoothing; prudence; vigorous oil extraction; precautionary saving; taxation and under-spending; oil price volatility; uncertain reserves and economic prospects;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3125, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Venables, Anthony J, 2011. "Natural resource wealth: the challenge of managing a windfall," CEPR Discussion Papers 8694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Torfinn Harding & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Official forecasts and management of oil windfalls," Discussion Papers 676, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  4. Paul Collier & Rick Van Der Ploeg & Michael Spence & Anthony J Venables, 2010. "Managing Resource Revenues in Developing Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 84-118, April.
  5. Djiofack, Calvin Z. & Omgba, Luc Désiré, 2011. "Oil depletion and development in Cameroon: A critical appraisal of the permanent income hypothesis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7202-7216.
  6. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Resource Wars and Confiscation Risk," OxCarre Working Papers 097, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Tsani, Stella, 2013. "Natural resources, governance and institutional quality: The role of resource funds," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 181-195.
  8. Torfinn Harding & Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2009. "Is Norway's Bird-in-Hand Stabilization Fund Prudent Enough? Fiscal Reactions to Hydrocarbon Windfalls and Graying Populations," CESifo Working Paper Series 2830, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Ton S. van den Bremer & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "How to Spend a Windfall: Dealing with volatility and capital scarcity," OxCarre Working Papers 085, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  10. Steigum, Erling & Thøgersen, Øystein, 2013. "A crisis not wasted – Institutional and structural reforms behind Norway’s strong macroeconomic performance," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 18/2013, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  11. Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov, 2012. "Oil Exporters' Dilemma: How Much to Save and How Much to Invest," IMF Working Papers 12/4, International Monetary Fund.

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