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Fiscal Policy

Faculté de gestion: Institut de hautes études en administration publique

Responsable(s): Nils Soguel

Période de validité: 2017 -> 2018

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre d'automne
26 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


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 governement?
▫ Does a State's debt level influence the macroeconomic performance of a country?


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.


Short dissertation written in a project group (75% of the final mark)
This main component of the assessment is supplemented by a short individual multiple choice exam at the very end of the course (25%)


- ADMINISTRATION FEDERALE DES FINANCES (2016). Principes applicables à la gestion des finances. Berne, AFF [téléchargeable]. - AYRTON R. (2002). L'impossible politique budgétaire : L'Etat fédéral face aux turbulences économiques. Lausanne : Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes, Collection Le savoir suisse. - LANDAIS B. (1998). Leçons de politique budgétaire. Paris: De Boeck. - LANGDANA F.K. (2002). Macroeconomic policy: Demystifying monetary and fiscal policy. New York: Springer. - SHAW G.K., 1972. Fiscal Policy. London: Macmillan.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15