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Fall 2013 - 63821 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Local Government Finance

Instructor(s): Bland, Robert
Unique Number: 63821
Day & Time: M 2:00 pm -5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.220
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Students are required to take an additional three-hour course in policy economics, selected from among a set of courses focusing on the application of economic theory and techniques to a specific area of public policy. Course options include macroeconomics, public finance, regulation, international trade and finance, natural resources and environmental policy, health policy, transportation policy, human resource development, urban and regional economic development, international development, education policy, social policy, and labor economics. Not all options are offered every year. This course is usually taken in the second year. 

Section Description

Navigating the increasingly complex crosscurrents of local government finance has become an essential competency for those aspiring to leadership roles in local government. This course examines the issues that a local manager confronts in developing a budget and the choice of revenue sources used to pay for it.  Course participants will acquire competency to

  • Explain and apply the basic principles of public finance to revenue policy decisions;
  • Analyze the economic and political effects of proposed changes in revenue policies on economic development and budget stability;
  • Use the budget process for  evaluating and improving performance;
  • Design a budget process that provides adequate financial control ;
  • Evaluate and utilize budget innovations such as Budgeting for Outcomes.

Participants will be actively engaged in the course dialog through case studies, Excel exercises, problem solving, and role playing. The final grade will be determined by performance on case studies and exercises, one exam, and an evaluation of a local government’s budget process (including an interview with the budget officer).

A draft syllabus will be available in July.

This course will be taught by Dr. Robert Bland, chair of the Department of Public Administration at UNT.  He teaches courses in government finance management, revenue policy, and governmental budgeting. He is the author or co-author of five books, and his articles on local tax policy, the municipal bond market, and governmental budgeting have appeared in a number of journals. In 2007 he was awarded the Terrell Blodgett Academician Award by the Texas City Management Association and the Stephen B. Sweeney Academic Award by the International City/County Management Association.