Mr. John Thornton, Fabian Bornhorst, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta
The recent development literature stresses that countries that receive large revenues from natural resource endowments typically raise less revenue from domestic taxation, and that this creates governance problems because the lower domestic tax effort reduces the incentive for the public scrutiny of government. Our results from a panel of 30 hydrocarbon producing countries indicate that the offset between hydrocarbon revenues and revenues from other domestic sources is about 20 percent but that it is invariant to governance indicators.
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.