Fiscal Policy, Public Debt Sustainability and the Economy

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive 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.

For participants with little economic background, we recommend completing our introductory economics courses; Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.

See related course: Essentials of Government Budgeting

Course date: 
9.30am–4.30pm 21 August 2019
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

$1,095 For more information about group discounts contact

Course overview

The proposed programme for this one day course would include the following lecture 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

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.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Tony Makin

Tony Makin, Professor of Economics and Director of the APEC Study Centre at Griffith University, has served as an International Consultant Economist with the IMF Institute, as an economist in the Australian federal departments of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Treasury, as well as Australian convenor of the structural issues group of the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council.
He is a member of the National Economic Panel of the Economic Society of Australia, has previously lectured in the Lee Kuan School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and School of Economics at the University of Queensland, and is the author of International Money and Finance, Global Finance and the Macroeconomy, Global Imbalances, Exchange Rates and Stabilization Policy, and The Limits of Fiscal Policy, as well as many journal articles.

He has previously taught similar material to government officials from Asia-Pacific countries at the IMF Institute for Capacity Building, to Australian Economics Honours and ANZSOG postgraduate students, as well as Indonesian and Sri Lankan officials undertaking short courses under DFAT’s Australia Awards International foreign aid programme.

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team