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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) have recorded significant macroeconomic achievements since independence. These countries have grown more rapidly-—on average by 7 percent over 1996–2011—-than those in many other regions of the world and poverty has declined. Inflation has come down sharply from high rates in the 1990s and interest rates have fallen. Financial sectors have deepened somewhat, as evidenced by higher deposits and lending. Fiscal policies were broadly successful in building buffers prior to the global crisis and those buffers were used effectively by many CCA countries to support growth and protect the most vulnerable as the crisis washed across the region. CCA oil and gas exporters have achieved significant improvements in living standards with the use of their energy wealth.
Mr. Giovanni Melina, Ms. Susan S. Yang, and Luis-Felipe Zanna
This paper presents the DIGNAR (Debt, Investment, Growth, and Natural Resources) model, which can be used to analyze the debt sustainability and macroeconomic effects of public investment plans in resource-abundant developing countries. DIGNAR is a dynamic, stochastic model of a small open economy. It has two types of households, including poor households with no access to financial markets, and features traded and nontraded sectors as well as a natural resource sector. Public capital enters production technologies, while public investment is subject to inefficiencies and absorptive capacity constraints. The government has access to different types of debt (concessional, domestic and external commercial) and a resource fund, which can be used to finance public investment plans. The resource fund can also serve as a buffer to absorb fiscal balances for given projections of resource revenues and public investment plans. When the fund is drawn down to its minimal value, a combination of external and domestic borrowing can be used to cover the fiscal gap in the short to medium run. Fiscal adjustments through tax rates and government non-capital expenditures—which may be constrained by ceilings and floors, respectively—are then triggered to maintain debt sustainability. The paper illustrates how the model can be particularly useful to assess debt sustainability in countries that borrow against future resource revenues to scale up public investment.
Ali Alichi and Mr. Rabah Arezki
The paper provides an alternative explanation for the "resource curse" based on the income effect resulting from high government current spending in resource rich economies. Using a simple life cycle framework, we show that private investment in the non-resource sector is adversely affected if private agents expect extra government current spending financed through resource sector revenues in the future. This income channel of the resource curse is stronger for countries with lower degrees of openness and forward altruism. We empirically validate these findings by estimating non-hydrocarbon sector growth regressions using a panel of 25 oil-exporting countries over 1992-2005.
Mr. Rudolfs Bems and Mr. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho
Exporters of exhaustible resources have historically exhibited higher income volatility than other economies, suggesting a heightened role for precautionary savings. This paper uses a parameterized small open economy model to quantify the role of precautionary savings in economies with exhaustible resources, when the only source of uncertainty is the price of the exhaustible resource. Results show that the precautionary motive can generate sizable external sector savings. When aggregated over the sample countries, precautionary savings in 2006 add up to 3.2 percent of GDP. The quantitative importance of the precautionary motive varies considerably across the sample countries and is driven primarily by the weight of exhaustible resource revenues in future income. The parameterized model fares well at capturing current account balances in both cross-section and time-series data.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the optimal policy response on the part of the Kazakhstan authorities to the prospective oil inflows. It surveys the literature on the so-called natural resource curse and offers an analysis of Kazakhstan’s petroleum potential. The paper analyzes the impact of the oil boom on the non-oil sector, based on a general equilibrium model. It provides an analysis of fiscal rules and fiscal sustainability and assesses the possible role of fiscal policies in addressing the “natural resource curse.”
Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Ms. Annalisa Fedelino, and Mr. Rolando Ossowski


Countries with large oil resources can benefit substantially from them. However, despite their huge natural resources, many oil producers have had disappointing growth, widespread poverty, and continuing vulnerability to oil price and other external shocks. Fiscal policy can play a central role indetermining the extent to which a country benefits from its oil wealth. This book brings together studies that provide analysis and findings on fiscal policy issues in oil-producing countries from a diverse international perspective. A key focus for the authors is how to manage oil resources in a way that contributes to a stable macroeconomic environment, sustainable growth, and poverty reduction.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix for Azerbaijan aims to provide a guide to the management of Azerbaijan’s expected natural resource-generated windfall. The paper provides information on Azerbaijan’s endowment of oil and gas deposits and the projected revenue stream, and highlights the common characteristics of policies leading to the mismanagement of natural resource wealth in natural resource-abundant countries. It also outlines a medium- and long-term policy strategy for oil wealth management in Azerbaijan.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper presents a brief overview of developments and prospects for the petroleum sector of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The paper conducts a comprehensive assessment of fiscal vulnerability, fiscal sustainability, and fiscal stance in Kazakhstan, focusing on the government’s non-oil budget balance while taking into account some of the key characteristics of resource-rich countries. The paper states that the key issue is how much the government should consume and save out of oil revenues and how these decisions should change in response to changes in key aspects of fiscal vulnerability in Kazakhstan.