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.
Policymakers in oil-exporting countries confront the question of how to allocate oil revenues among consumption, saving, and investment in the face of high income volatility. We study this allocation problem in a precautionary saving and investment model under uncertainty. Consistent with data in the 2000s, precautionary saving is sizable and the marginal propensity to consume out of permanent shocks is below one, in stark contrast to the predictions of the perfect foresight model. The optimal investment rate is high if productivity in the tradable sector is high enough.