Academics

Critical Issues in Public Finance

Course Number: 
GAFL 528

Semester: 

  • Summer 2017
Course Format: 
Hybrid (on-campus and online)
On-Campus
On-Campus Day(s): 
Friday
Saturday
On-Campus Time(s): 

On-campus meetings for Summer 2017 will be on:

  • Fridays from 9:30am-1:00pm on May 19, June 23, and July 21
  • Saturdays from 9:30am-1:00pm on May 20, June 24, and July 22
On-Campus Location: 
Online
Online Day(s): 
Monday
Online Time: 
7:45pm-8:45pm
Course Description: 

The Course, Critical Issues in Public Finance will consider contemporary issues affecting the fiscal state of local governments. Covered will be issues that have distressed municipalities; the policies/initiatives that seek to rectify such including privatization/public private partnerships; reformation of municipal pensions; sustainable education funding alternatives; and tax policies aimed at promoting economic growth. Students will be assigned to a team, which will identify and provide a solution for an issue or issues plaguing a fictional government.  Each team will prepare a written report and make a presentation all of which will constitute the final project. Assignments will serve as the building blocks for the final written work product and presentation developed by each team.

The class is divided into four modules. The first module will take a historical look at events behind fiscal distress in municipalities and then explore current day drivers that are causing the same today. Modules two, three and four will examine some of the tools that have been used successfully or otherwise to remediate the drivers of fiscal distress. In each module case studies will be used to further analyze the particular fiscal challenge of a municipality.  Written assignments will be based on case studies. 

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu