The responsible management of public finances is widely considered to be one of the cornerstone conditions to facilitate sustained growth, equitable distribution and long term investment of resources in developing countries. In a globalised economy, the management of public finances has become an area of increased technical expertise, because it requires knowledge of complex issues such as the administration of foreign direct investments, external aid from donors and cooperation agencies, debt management, tax policy and tax administration, and the allocation and distribution of government spending. These issue areas have inherently political implications, as it generates redistributive consequences, creates long term winners and losers, and have a direct influence over development outcomes in society. These political transactions are reflected in the structure of a country’s budget process, in the bargaining of different tax regimes and in the choice of government spending and saving instruments. In this light, a comprehensive understanding of PFM and reforms has to reconcile the knowledge about technical constraints with the political coalitions that make reforms sustainable in the long run.
This module aims to introduce students to the technical and political dimensions of public finance management in a) the generation of revenues, b) the budget process, and c) government spending; and to introduce students the most relevant debates of the specialised literature and discuss policy implications of reforms using case studies.
Please note module information is indicative and may change from year to year.
10 weeks of two hour workshops
Module assessment - more information
Class presentation (10%) and 4,000 word essay (90%)