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Managing and Harnessing Volatile Oil Windfalls

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  • Van Den Bremer, Ton
  • van der Ploeg, Frederick

Abstract

Three funds are necessary to manage an oil windfall: intergenerational, liquidity and investment funds. The optimal liquidity fund is bigger if the windfall lasts longer and oil price volatility, prudence and the GDP share of oil rents are high and productivity growth is low. We apply our theory to the windfalls of Norway, Iraq and Ghana. The optimal size of Ghana’s liquidity fund is tiny even with high prudence. Norway’s liquidity fund is bigger than Ghana’s. Iraq’s liquidity fund is colossal relative to its intergenerational fund. Only with capital scarcity, part of the windfall should be used for investing to invest. We illustrate how this can speed up the process of development in Ghana despite domestic absorption constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Den Bremer, Ton & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2012. "Managing and Harnessing Volatile Oil Windfalls," CEPR Discussion Papers 9209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9209
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic development; Ghana; inefficiency; intergenerational fund; Iraq; liquidity fund; Norway; oil price volatility; precautionary buffers; public investment; sovereign wealth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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