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This article examines the issues that newly emerging hydrocarbon economies must face surrounding public expectations of how oil and gas revenues will be spent by governments. Studies of oil and gas economies have shown that public expectations have often been unrealistic, exaggerated and, at times, manipulated. The author highlights four major challenges in managing expectations: determining information-sharing requirements; developing common expectations among multiple stakeholder groups; clarifying labour–skill requirements in the oil and gas sector; and articulating environmental and social considerations impacted by the hydrocarbon sector. The article goes on to discuss policy requirements for managing expectations,...