Public Finance and Budgeting

Budgeting for Better Governance

Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP) faculty whose work is in the Public Finance and Budgeting subject area conduct research on how governments generate and use public funds to provide goods and services, as well as how policy and budgetary changes impact the ability of governments to raise revenue and establish spending priorities. A key question for governments is how obtain and divide limited financial resources. At its best, public budgets are reflections of community values. A government’s choice of revenue (which taxes and fees, at what rate, who pays) and choice of expenditures (which policy, which program, how much funding) is technical and political, having implications for diversity, equity, and inclusion in society. We explore how budgets are made, how spending priorities shift in response to changing political and economic environments, and how monetary changes influence the productivity of governments. In recent projects, Professor David Schwegman has examined the fiscal and economic impacts of renewable energies on local communities and governments, the impact of participatory budgeting on school budgets in New York City, and how improvements in the property tax assessment system affect tax equity. In her recent projects, Professor Carla Flink has examined how citizens evaluate government financial management strategies, how US state transportation agencies’ spending affects road quality, how political party polarization influences US federal spending, and how US federal spending and delayed budgets impact federal employee satisfaction.

Meet DPAP Faculty in this Field