Critical Issues in Public Finance

Course Number
GAFL 528 001
Course Code
Course Key
Stitt, Matthew
Course Note
Special session: 01/13/2021 to 04/29/2021
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. 
Spring 2021 weekend classes will be held from 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM on the following Saturdays: January 16, February 20, March 20, and April 24. Class will also meet online weekly on Monday evenings from 6:15-7:30 PM.  Please note: The first day of class is January 13th.
This course has seats reserved for Fels students and gives priority to grad students. Non-Fels students should contact Kate McAloon at mcaloonk@sas.upenn to request a permit.