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Fiscal Policy

  • Enseignant(s):   N.Soguel  
  • Titre en français: Politique budgétaire
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS: 3 crédits
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2022-2023, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formation concernée: Maîtrise universitaire en Droit et économie
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How do fiscal instruments influence the macro performance of the economy? In this course, as a participant, you will : - Learn how to analyse a fiscal policy? - Understand how to take relevant actions and how to respond to questions such as: - Should the State increase spending to stimulate employment and growth? - What must be considered in terms of the sustainability of the State’s finances? - What are the dominant variables which influence the financial situation of a government? - Does a State’s debt level influence the macroeconomic performance of a country? Warning : do not get confused with any faux-amis; Fiscal policy means politique budgétaire in French and not politique fiscale (tax policy in English)


Fiscal policy is, along with monetary policy, one of the main levers of a government’s political economy. Fiscal policy involves using particular fiscal measures, including tax policy, expenditure policy and debt policy, to influence the business cycle. The impact of these various measures on different activity sectors of the State is therefore significant. They also greatly effect households and businesses. These policies are subject to intense theoretical debates. And the practical repercussions of these debates are monumental. Up until the end of the 1930s, the main goal of public sector financial management was to ensure the financing of public services. Government spending was not then considered a variable able to influence the level of economic activity. John Maynard Keynes, the famous English economist, modified this idea by highlighting the impact of fiscal policy on the level of economic activity. As a result, since the 1930s, most developed countries have had fiscal stimulus policies during periods of recession or slower growth. However, beginning with the crisis that followed the oil crisis of 1973, neoclassical theoreticians demonstrated the limits of fiscal policy and, in particular, the harmful effects of recurring deficits and government debt. The current crisis gives us a practical demonstration of this. It confirms the usefulness of having efficient brakes to spending and debt. It is indeed when the State debt level leaves wide room for maneuvering that governments are able to combat macroeconomic fluctuations and promote growth.


- Administration fédérale des finances (2019). Principes applicables à la gestion des finances. Berne : AFF [téléchargeable]. - Landais, B. (1998). Leçons de politique budgétaire. Paris: De Boeck. - Langdana, F.K. (2002). Macroeconomic Policy: Demystifying Monetary and Fiscal Policy. New York: Springer. - Makin, A.J. (2018). The Limits of Fiscal Policy. New-York: Springer Nature, Palgrave Macmillan. - Shaw, G.K. (1972). Fiscal Policy. London: Macmillan. - Soguel, N. (2020). Comprendre et gérer les finances de ma collectivité. Lausanne : PPUR. Open access.


Excel - intermediate level / Econometrics - introductory course / Students interested in this course should attend from day one. Indeed we have to organize work and plan activities for the next sessions. THIS LECTURE IS NOT OPEN TO MOBILITY STUDENTS.


1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

Exam organised by IDHEAP

Short written dissertation


Oral 0h20 minutes

Exam organised by IDHEAP

Oral exam lasting about 20 minutes with an equal preparation time (20 minutes)

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