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A welfare state funded by nature and OPEC. A guided tour on Norway's path from an exceptionally impressive to an exceptionally strained fiscal position

  • Kim Massey Heide
  • Erling Holmøy
  • Ingeborg Foldøy Solli
  • Birger Strøm

    ()

    (Statistics Norway)

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    Large petroleum revenues make Norway an enviable fiscal loner. The fiscal policy rule adopted from 2001 transforms petroleum wealth into foreign assets, and only the real return on the financial fund should be spent annually. Despite this ambitious saving of the petroleum wealth, we find it unlikely that present tax rates and welfare schemes are sustainable in a long run perspective. Rather, the results from combining detailed models of demography and government expenditures with a detailed CGE model, suggest that Norway is exceptional also with respect to strong growth in government expenditures. In our baseline scenario the payroll tax rate must be increased continuously when ageing sets in after 2020, passing twice the present level about 2045. This is required even if the pension fund reaches 1.4 times GDP, commanding an unprecedented degree of fiscal discipline.

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    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 464.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:464
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    1. Beetsma, Roel & Bettendorf, Leon & Broer, Peter, 2003. "The budgeting and economic consequences of ageing in the Netherlands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 987-1013, September.
    2. Dennis Fredriksen & Kim Massey Heide & Erling Holmøy & Ingeborg Foldøy Solli, 2005. "Macroeconomic effects of proposed pension reforms in Norway," Discussion Papers 417, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
    3. K. Mc Morrow & W. R�ger, 2002. "EU pension reform - An overview of the debate and an empirical assessment of the main policy reform options," European Economy - Economic Papers 162, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2002. "Generational policy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 27, pages 1873-1932 Elsevier.
    5. Klette, T.J., 1998. "Market Power, Scale Economies and Productivity: Estimates from a Panel of Establishment Data," Memorandum 15/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-383717 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Pablo Antolín & Wim Suyker, 2001. "How Should Norway Respond to Ageing?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 296, OECD Publishing.
    8. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
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