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.
The paper presents numerical simulations of various fiscal rules for oil-producing countries. Welfare implications are sensitive to the choice of the social welfare function, initial conditions, and non-oil growth prospects. The distribution of non-oil wealth is important for countries with relatively low oil reserves. Corrections for adjustment costs and uncertainty with respect to oil prices should be applied carefully. While avoiding sharp changes in the fiscal policy stance may be appealing, it is not necessarily optimal if the initial position is unsustainable. Ad hoc rules are shown to perform poorly. The analysis abstracts from several issues critical for developing a practical policy advice and should not be treated as a complete framework.