PP4J5      Half Unit
Fiscal Governance and Budgeting

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joachim Wehner


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Public Policy and Administration, Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines contemporary issues in fiscal governance and public budgeting in OECD countries and elsewhere.  The focus is on executive and legislative actors and the institutional structures within which they make budgetary choices.  Following an introduction to theoretical approaches to the study of budgeting, topics include medium-term frameworks, top-down budgeting, fiscal rules and fiscal councils, performance budgeting, legislative budgeting, fiscal decentralisation, budget transparency, audit and accountability.


30 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Students will write a formative essay during Michaelmas Term as practice for the take-home exam.

Indicative reading

Wildavsky, A. B. and Caiden, N (2004), The New Politics of the Budgetary Process (New York, Pearson/Longman)

Hallerberg, M, Strauch, R and von Hagen, J (2009), Fiscal Governance in Europe (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)

Allen, R, Hemming, R and Potter, B eds (2013), The International Handbook of Public Financial Management (New York, Palgrave Macmillan)

Cangiano, M, Curristine, T and Lazare, M eds (2013), Public Financial Management and Its Emerging Architecture (Washington D.C., International Monetary Fund)


Coursework (25%) in the MT.
Take-home assessment (75%) in the LT.

The coursework (worth 25%) will consist of a Policy Exercise which will be carried out in groups.  Students will prepare a presentation and produce a 2-3 page policy memo.

The take-home timed assessment (75%) will be held shortly before the start of Lent Term.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills