The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper assesses sustainable fiscal behavior in an economy where wealth is derived predominantly from a non-renewable resource. It explores the issue in a simple dynamic framework that highlights the structural weaknesses in the underlying budgetary position, takes into account the rate of depletion of a country’s natural resource base, and examines the impact of changes in a country’s terms of trade. An alternative indicator of fiscal sustainability is derived, and the principal factors determining sustainability are identified. The results of the analysis are applied to Venezuela and Kuwait.