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SPP Hosts National Budgeting Conference Addressing Public Finance Challenges in the Face of Inequities

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Washington DC

On April 21 and 22, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy hosted a national conference on public finance and budgeting. The event welcomed scholars from around the country who gathered to discuss and share groundbreaking research in the field. SPP, in collaboration with Indiana University, Georgia State University and University of Illinois-Chicago, takes turns hosting the annual conference each spring.

Governments continue to face ongoing challenges in funding essential public services and responding to residents’ calls to address deep-rooted inequities. Public finance and budgeting research provides valuable guidance for policymakers, enabling them to tackle these challenges through practical insights on revenue generation, resource allocation and financial management.

The School’s proximity and strong connection to DC not only facilitates valuable scholarly research but also allows faculty to actively contribute to the policymaking process, serving as both scholars and practitioners. Professor Phillip Swagel, currently on leave from SPP, serves as the director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), responsible for providing nonpartisan analysis and evaluation of budgetary and economic issues for Congress. Swagel delivered the conference’s keynote address, offering valuable insights into the CBO's most recent federal budget projections and taking questions from the group concerning several current issues related to the budget and the U.S. economy.

Approximately 40 faculty members and students from 25 different universities attended the conference, creating a dynamic environment for intellectual discourse. The event offered a platform for lively discussion on a wide range of pressing public finance and budgeting issues. Notable topics included tax policy, financial management, federal budgeting, social equity in public spending and climate finance, among many others.

Professor Philip Joyce, along with Assistant Professors Juan Pablo Martínez Guzmán and Luke Spreen, organized this year’s conference and also served as speakers. Other SPP faculty members in attendance included Lecturer Anthony McCann and Associate Research Professor Nathan Dietz, along with PhD students Dylan Baker, Qingqing Sun and Menuka Ban, and recent PhD graduate Aichiro Prabowo.

SPP’s reputation in the specialization of Public Finance and Budgeting precedes itself. In April 2023 U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, UMD School of Public Policy was ranked 14th in the nation out of approximately 300 programs nationwide for its integration of financial policy analysis into its core curriculum. Joyce expressed his satisfaction with the conference, highlighting its role in showcasing both the outstanding faculty and the School’s new home in Thurgood Marshall Hall. “The fact that we were able to attract many of the top scholars from around the country speaks to our continued reputation in this field,” acknowledges Joyce.

“This was a great opportunity for SPP to not only highlight our faculty but also our fantastic new home in Thurgood Marshall Hall,” Joyce notes. “The School has a long history of top scholarship in this area, starting with Professor Emeritus Allen Schick and continuing to this day.”

View photos from this event.

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Megan Campbell
Senior Director of Strategic Communications
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