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Today versus Tomorrow - The Sensitivity of the Non-Oil Current Account Balance to Permanent and Current Income


  • Alun H. Thomas
  • Tamim Bayoumi


This paper applies the Permanent Income Model to the non-oil current accounts of the major oil exporters to assess the extent to which national consumption decisions in these countries are made on the basis of permanent versus current income. A test of whether the return on oil wealth and oil balance coefficients sum to unity is accepted for all specifications that adjust the return on wealth for future population changes. For oil-exporting countries outside Africa, around half of the fluctuations in the private sector non-oil balance are driven by considerations of changes in permanent income (the return on oil wealth) rather than current income. By contrast, for the public sector and African countries permanent income has little or no effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Alun H. Thomas & Tamim Bayoumi, 2009. "Today versus Tomorrow - The Sensitivity of the Non-Oil Current Account Balance to Permanent and Current Income," IMF Working Papers 09/248, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/248

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tamim Bayoumi & Michael W. Klein, 1997. "A Provincial View of Economic Integration," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(4), pages 534-556, December.
    2. Pierfederico Asdrubali & Soyoung Kim, 2008. "Incomplete Intertemporal Consumption Smoothing and Incomplete Risk Sharing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1521-1531, October.
    3. Calderon Cesar Augusto & Chong Alberto & Loayza Norman V., 2002. "Determinants of Current Account Deficits in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-33, March.
    4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Sgherri, Silvia, 2006. "Mr Ricardo's Great Adventure: Estimating Fiscal Multipliers in a Truly Intertemporal Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Alonso A Segura Vasi, 2006. "Management of Oil Wealth Under the Permanent Income Hypothesis; The Case of São Tomé and Príncipe," IMF Working Papers 06/183, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-279, July.
    7. Alun H. Thomas & Jun I Kim & Aqib Aslam, 2008. "Equilibrium Non-Oil Current Account Assessments for Oil Producing Countries," IMF Working Papers 08/198, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cherif, Reda & Hasanov, Fuad, 2013. "Oil Exporters’ Dilemma: How Much to Save and How Much to Invest," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 120-131.
    2. Araujo, Juliana D. & Li, Bin Grace & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2016. "Current account norms in natural resource rich and capital scarce economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 144-156.


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