Oil Boom, Fiscal Policy and Economic Development
: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of the Role of Alternative Fiscal Rules In Ghana’s Emerging Petroleum Economy

  • Mohammed Amin Adam

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The objectives of the study are to assess the fiscal sustainability and development impacts of Ghana’s fiscal rule for allocating petroleum revenues to the annual budget against alternative fiscal rules - the permanent income and the bird-in-hand rules. Fiscal sustainability is measured by government long-term fiscal space in proportion to non-oil GDP, whilst development impacts are measured through a dynamic CGE model of Ghana.

    Generally, the study makes four important findings on how fiscal policy triggered by the inflow of new petroleum revenues could affect the long-term fiscal sustainability and growth of the economy. One, Ghana’s fiscal rule is neither fiscally sustainable nor provide higher impacts of petroleum revenues on economic development relative to the permanent income and the bird-in-hand rules. Two, fiscal sustainability does not necessarily lead to greater development outcomes. The bird-in-hand rule is the most fiscally sustainable, but the permanent income rule provides higher development outcomes and can move Ghana’s transformation towards a full middle income status. Three, institutional quality in a country could lead to efficiency gains in government spending. Four, efficiency in government spending could improve on development outcomes.

    Ghana could therefore benefit from its petroleum revenues by adopting the permanent income rule; and with temporary petroleum revenues, the focus of the country should be on current investment of petroleum revenues in building the country’s asset base to support short-term and long-term growth of the economy. However, this should be complemented with strengthening the quality of institutional arrangements to enhance efficiency in government spending.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSubhes Bhattacharyya (Supervisor) & Xiaoyi Mu (Supervisor)


    • CGE modeling
    • Fiscal policy
    • Fiscal rules
    • Ghana
    • Institutions
    • Petroleum revenues
    • Economic growth
    • Economic development

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