Examines policy options, with their strategic trade-offs and operational implications, for the design and implementation of public finance in both high-income countries and developing/transitional economies. Covers the role and size of the public sector, including the rationale for public sector interventions such as market failure and distributional concerns; public resource mobilization via direct and indirect taxation, including the economics of taxation, taxation of income, wealth and consumption, tax incentives, tax compliance and enforcement, and tax reform, as well as user charges and fees; public expenditure policy, including assessment of government social protection programs and public sector efficiency and effectiveness; and fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations. Also examines balanced budgets, deficit financing, debt management, fiscal consolidation, and fiscal sustainability in the context of economic crises and the debate over fiscal stimulus vs. fiscal austerity policies, focusing on fiscal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that best mitigate negative impact and facilitate incremental recovery. Emphasizes utilization of theoretical and applied techniques in a comparative context for evaluation of the impact of alternative resource mobilization and expenditure policies on economic growth and stability, allocative efficiency, and social equity. Heavy use of case studies. Adapted in 2020 to an online platform with complementary live sessions and asynchronous components although we are planning to return to a residential format in 2021.
No economics or statistics course prerequisites – both economists and non-economists are welcome. Meets the “Strategic Management” requirement for the MLD Certificate. To see a short VIDEO describing this course, please follow this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ycl06tevc&feature=relmfu.