A Macroeconomic Analysis of Energy Subsidies in a Small Open Economy: The Case of Egypt
We construct a dynamic general equilibrium model to analyze the effects of large energy subsidies in a small open economy. The model pays special attention to domestic energy production and consumption, trade in energy at world market prices, as well as private and public sector production including the provision of public infrastructure. The model is calibrated to data from Egypt and then used to study policy reforms such as reductions in energy subsidies with corresponding reductions in consumption taxes, labor taxes, capital taxes, or increases in infrastructure investment. We calculate the new steady states, the transition paths to the new steady state and the size of the associated welfare losses or gains. In response to a 15 percent cut in energy subsidies, GDP may fall as less energy is used in production. Excess energy is exported and capital imports are reduced. Welfare in consumption equivalent terms can rise by up to 0.6 percent of GDP. Gains in output can be realized only if the government re-invests into infrastructure.
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