Do sovereign wealth funds dampen the effect of oil market volatility on gross domestic product growth?
Journal of Energy Markets
This paper examines the effect of oil price volatility on gross domestic product (GDP) growth in some oil-exporting countries. The analysis becomes more pertinent when we consider the role of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as a driver to counter the exhaustibility of revenue by transforming nonrenewable resources into sustainable income. The main contribution made by this paper is our assessment of the role of SWF asset growth in dampening the effect of oil market volatility on GDP growth. To test this effect, we rely on a panel smooth transition regression model which is useful for describing heterogeneous panels, with regression coefficients that fluctuate between a limited number of “extreme regimes” depending on the SWF assets’ size. Our findings demonstrate that this effect is nonlinear and depends on the threshold level of SWF asset growth. The estimated coefficient is negative in the first regime and becomes positive beyond the threshold value (ie, 19%) in the second regime. We also test a second specification of the model by considering the effect of the volatility of per capita oil export revenue on GDP growth and show that SWF asset growth plays a significant role in dampening the effect of oil market volatility on GDP growth, mainly in the second regime when SWF asset growth reaches a high growth level.