SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Public Financial Management: Revenue

Module Code:
15PFMC092
Credits:
15
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

This course addresses the theory and practice of public finance with special reference to how governments raise revenues. It is concerned with taxation, borrowing and aid. There are economic principles that bear on the issues of financing public expenditure and these are covered in the course. If you have not studied economics before there is an Appendix that covers the relevant microeconomics concepts that underlie taxation theory.

At the same time the course recognises that decisions on taxation, borrowing and aid are not taken solely with reference to economics but also to politics

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

  • Apply and assess the main tools of analysis used by mainstream economic theory to construct and design taxation and expenditure policy in a variety of country and policy contexts;
  • Identify the global trends in tax and other government revenues and the economic and political factors underlying these trends;
  • Recognise and assess different views on the role of public finance in the process of economic development;
  • Identify and apply basic concepts and priorities in the management of debts and deficits;
  • Apply a political economy perspective to the role of aid in the process of economic development

Workload

Lectures
This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.

Tutorials
This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:
Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:
1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted.

Suggested reading

Indicative reading list:

  • Stiglitz, J. (2000), Economics of the Public Sector. New York: WW Norton.
  • Gill, J. B. S. (2003), The Nuts and Bolts of Revenue Administration Reform. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
  • Easterly, W. and T. Pfutze (2008), “When Does the Money Go? Best and Worst Practice in Foreign Aid”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22(2): 29-52.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules