Crawford School of Public Policy

Fiscal Policy, Public Debt Sustainability and the Economy

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About the course

The aim of the course is to enrich participants’ knowledge of the impact of fiscal policy and public debt on the Australian economy. After introducing key fiscal concepts and important analytical techniques, the course canvasses a range of alternative macroeconomic perspectives on the operation and effectiveness of fiscal policy, highlighting its impact on interest rates, international capital flows, exchange rates, competitiveness, employment, and national income.

It then examines in-depth (i) the macroeconomic significance and implications of Australia's public debt with reference to foreign indebtedness, international credit worthiness and interest rates, (ii) how to gauge public debt sustainability, and (iii) how the federal budget can be managed to stabilise and reduce public debt.

Participants will develop their capacity to critically evaluate the macroeconomic consequences of federal fiscal policy and acquire new skills for assessing and managing public debt sustainability.

Course overview

Participants would be encouraged to interact in class in response to questions posed throughout the lectures, and be obliged to interact with each other in the small group workshop sessions. On completing the course, participants would have improved their capacity to think critically about the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy and have learned important quantitative techniques for assessing the sustainability of public debt.

Core topics:

  • Foundations for Advanced Fiscal Analysis
  • Perspectives on Fiscal Stimulus
  • Public Debt, Creditworthiness and Interest Rates
  • Lecture on Public Debt Sustainability
  • Group Problem Solving Workshop on Public Debt Sustainability
  • Group Workshop on Public Debt Sustainability

Who should attend

  • APS staff
  • Key economic organisations

Trust the experts

Tony Makin

Tony Makin is Professor of Economics and Director of the APEC Study Centre at Griffith University and currently a Visiting Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He holds a PhD from the Australian National University and has previously taugh...


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