There are many fine textbooks on public financial management. Each does certain things well, but in our view, none covers all the concepts, techniques, and analytical tools that today’s public policy and administration graduate students need to put their passion into action. This book is our best attempt to weave that material together in a fresh, robust, concise, and immersive way. We also believe the time is right to bring to the market a free, open-source treatment of this critically important subject.
At the University of Washington and the University of Chicago, we use this text for a variety of quarter-length introductory courses on public finance, budgeting, and financial management. We believe it’s also suitable for a similarly structured semester-long course. Sections of the text might also be suitable for other courses often found in Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy, and other programs. Chapters 2 and 3 would be appropriate for courses on governmental accounting, debt management, or non-profit financial management. Chapters 4 and 5 work well for an applied public or non-profit budgeting course.
The first time we co-taught “Public Financial Management and Budgeting,” we quickly realized that we approached the course in similar ways. That shared thinking is partly the result of our shared experiences with some exceptional teachers and scholars. They include, in no particular order: the late William Duncombe (formerly of Syracuse University); Bart Hildreth and Ross Rubinstein (Georgia State); Katherine Willoughby (University of Georgia); Craig Johnson (Indiana University); Jerry Miller (Arizona State University); and the late Dwight Denison (formerly of University of Kentucky).
We want to thank Dean Emeritus Sandra Archibald, Evans School Dean Jodi Sandfort, and Harris School Dean Kate Baicker for their commitment to excellence in the teaching of public finance, budgeting, and financial management. Without the support of Apurva Ashok (Rebus Foundation), Lauren Ray (University of Washington Libraries), and Sophia Keskey (Evans School of Public Policy), this project would not have been possible. Lastly, we are indebted to our students, who, through their thoughtful suggestions and criticisms, helped shape and enrich this project.
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
University of Washington
Harris School of Public Policy
University of Chicago