12:30—2:00 PM
The World Bank
701 18th Street, NW
(Room J7-044)
Washington, DC 20433

Sovereign Wealth Funds, Domestic Investment and Fiscal Rules

***This was not a CGD event and took place at the World Bank offices in Washington, DC***

MENA Chief Economist Seminar Series: "Sovereign Wealth Funds, Domestic Investment and Fiscal Rules" by Alan Gelb

Alan Gelb, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Michel Noel, Practice Manager, GFMDR and Tito Cordella, Adviser, DECOS

Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa

The recent decline in world oil prices highlights the difficulties faced by oil exporting countries in the long-term management of their uncertain rents. The presentation considered different approaches to this question, including the implications of uncertain reserves as well as the tension between traditional “permanent income” fiscal rules and increasing calls for Sovereign Wealth Funds to invest in domestic infrastructure. No approaches are risk-free but efforts can be made to mitigate some risks through appropriate spending, investment and institutional rules. At the same time it is helpful to have some flexibility in rules so they can bend under stress rather than break.

Additional readings:

Sovereign Wealth Funds and Long-Term Development Finance: Risks and Opportunities

How Much Does Natural Resource Extraction Really Diminish National Wealth? The Implications of Discovery



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