Public Finance and Financial Management
This field is concerned with the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies and procedures surrounding the use of resources and raising of revenues by public and non-profit entities. The primary emphasis is on nonprofit and healthcare organizations, and state and local governmental bodies, although some attention is given to the federal government and international settings as well.
Microeconomics is the most important disciplinary background for the field. Principles of efficient resource allocation as well as equity in outcome are used to analyze both the internal operations of organizations and their external environment. In other words, the study of: (1) financial management (internal to the organization), and (2) public finance (external to the organization) are combined. Common methodologies used to study finance issues are multivariate statistical analysis, techniques of managerial accounting, and finance and case studies. Students in the public finance and financial management field must complete the modules in microeconomic analysis and in applied statistics and econometrics.
Research in the areas of public finance and financial management often requires depth of knowledge in a specific area, such as education finance, financial management of nonprofit organizations, or tax policy. Such depth of knowledge involves both a foundation gained from coursework, as well as significant study of literature beyond the material covered in coursework.