Counting the Oil Money and the Elderly: Norway's Public Sector Balance Sheet

Author/Editor:

Ezequiel Cabezon ; Christian Henn

Publication Date:

August 27, 2018

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Based on a permanent income analysis, Gagnon (2018) has prominently suggested that Norway has saved too much, thereby free-riding on the rest of the world for demand. Our public sector balance sheet analysis comes to the opposite conclusion, chiefly because it also accounts for future aging costs. Unsurprisingly, we find that Norway’s current assets exceed its liabilities by some 340 percent of mainland GDP. But its nonoil fiscal deficits have grown very large (to almost 8 percent of mainland GDP) and aging pressures are only commencing. Therefore, Norway’s intertemporal financial net worth (IFNW) is negative, at about -240 percent of mainland GDP. As IFNW represents an intertemporal budget constraint, this implies that Norway’s savings are likely insufficient to address aging costs without additional fiscal action.

Series:

Working Paper No. 18/190

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

August 27, 2018

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484370117/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2018190

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

55

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