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Thomas Luke Spreen

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Luke Spreen is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. His research falls under two broad themes. First, whether oversight of public or nonprofit entities leads to improvements in their financial outcomes. Second, whether financial incentives, particularly when implemented through taxes, alter the behavior of economic agents.

His prior research is published in the American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory¸ Journal of Public Economics, National Tax Journal, and other outlets. He earned his Ph.D. from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington and was an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics prior to his academic career.

Areas of Interest
  • State and local taxation, financial management, program evaluation
3 Credit(s)

Covers how governments raise, spend, borrow, and manage public funds. Reviews federal,state, and local budget processes and introduces analytical techniques including basic spreadsheet skills, evaluating alternative revenue sources, revenue and expenditure forecasting, cost allocation, capital budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, discounting and present value, bond analysis, cash management and intergovernmental finance.

Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Covers the fundamentals of accounting and financial management for public and nonprofit organizations. Through course readings, case studies, and short assignments, students will learn how to understand and use public sector financial information to inform decision making. The first half of the course will focus on: operating budgets, cash budgets, tools for evaluating capital budgeting decisions, and an introduction to accounting principles. Topics in the second half of the course include financial reporting, financial condition analysis, and unique aspects of accounting for public and nonprofit organizations. Along the way, students will gain familiarity with spreadsheet applications and financial calculations. By the end of the course, students should be able to read and interpret financial information and perform straightforward financial analyses. 
Schedule of Classes

Prerequisite(s): PLCY688R recommended