This paper proposes an integrated approach to fiscal policy analysis in oil producing countries (OPCs) geared towards addressing their unique and complex policy challenges. First, an accurate assessment of the fiscal stance in OPCs can be obscured by large and volatile oil revenue flows. Second, uncertain and volatile oil revenue flows can complicate the management of macroeconomic policies in these countries. Third, given the exhaustibility of oil reserves, OPCs need to address longer-term sustainability and intergenerational equity issues. The use of non-oil fiscal indicators, stress tests, medium-term frameworks, and permanent oil income models can greatly aid in addressing these challenges.
High oil prices have once again led to large external surpluses of oil exporting countries, similar to the 1970s and 1980s. This paper analyzes the extent to which (i) oil exporters use bank deposits to invest these surpluses, and (ii) banks are lending on these funds to emerging market economies. Bank recycling of petro dollars to emerging market economies is found to be almost as important as in the 1970s and 1980s, even though during the current boom, petro dollar bank flows tend to originate in countries like Russia, Libya, or Nigeria rather than in the Middle East. As one consequence, a fall in oil prices could yet again disrupt financing flows to emerging economies. Especially at risk could be countries that rely heavily on bank loans to finance external deficits, many of them in Emerging Europe.
This paper evaluates a fiscal scenario based on the assumption of a rapid scaling-up of expenditure to be followed by a rapid scaling-down in the context of Azerbaijan's current temporary oil production boom. To this end, it relies on a review of historical precedents and a neoclassical growth model. Based on both strands of analysis, the paper suggests that the evaluated fiscal scenario poses significant risks to growth sustainability.