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.
We question the conventional view that it is optimal for government to maintain a stable level of spending out of oil wealth. We compare this conventional policy recommendation with one where government spends all of its oil revenues upfront, at the same rate as oil is extracted. Using a neoclassical growth model with positive external effects of public spending on consumption and productivity, we find that, if the economy is growing along the steady-state balanced path, the conventional view is validated. However, if the economy starts with a lower capital stock, the welfare ranking across two policies can be reversed.