• Class Number 5575
  • Term Code 3040
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Miranda Stewart
    • Miranda Stewart
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 08/04/2020
  • Class End Date 24/05/2020
  • Census Date 17/04/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 15/04/2020
SELT Survey Results

Fiscal Policy, Globalization and Development

This course is aimed at students who are interested in fiscal policy including tax and expenditure law and policy concerning how to fund government effectively.  It examines the key challenges of fiscal policy in achieving sufficient revenues, economic prosperity and development and in addressing social justice and inequality in a context of globalisation. 

The course provides an introduction to public finance law and policy; tax policy principles; and tax reform and law design principles. We then examine several topical case studies of particular fiscal systems and tax or expenditure reforms or policies in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. The subject takes a critical approach to examining the principles, processes and outcomes of fiscal policy. Students do not need to have a detailed knowledge of tax law or economics to do this subject.

Principal topics are:

•             Public finance law and policy including budget laws, fiscal institutions and rules

•             General principles of public finance

•             Tax principles relevant to development: efficiency, distributive justice, administration

•             The relationship between tax, lending and aid for low income countries

•             Resource taxation including rent taxes, royalties and budgeting for oil and mineral revenues

•             Fiscal federalism and decentralisation including tax allocation and revenue sharing between governments

•             The corporate tax and multinationals in the context of economic globalization

•             International tax transparency and coordination between governments

•             The future: global taxes?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

•    Demonstrate a good understanding of the fiscal framework for taxing and spending and of fiscal policy principles
•    Analyse critically tax reforms and policy choices in developed and developing countries  
•    Research, and examine key issues and challenges in fiscal policy in a particular development or country context.
•    Present in depth written analysis of key issues and challenges in fiscal policy in a particular development or country context.

Research-Led Teaching

This class is based on my research and policy engagement about tax policy for inclusive economic development in a global digital era. The class does a broad-ranging survey of key tax policy and budget issues for developing and developed country governments today.

Required Resources

Readings will be available on Wattle.

Readings will be available on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments for each individual student on their submitted assessment
  • Verbal comments for individual students who wish to receive such feedback and make an appointment to do so
  • Feedback to the whole class during the class time and in writing.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Intensive Day 1 Overview; getting to know each other Topic 1: Introduction 1.1 Public finance and its role in economic development 1.2 Tax levels, types of tax, tax bases 1.3 Levels of tax and spending; fiscal federalism Topic 2: Budgets 2.1 Budgets: Introduction and country case studies 2.2 Budget laws and fiscal institutions Starting in the afternoon: STUDENT PARTICIPATION: STUDENTS LEADING DISCUSSION ON SET READINGS
2 Intensive Day 2 Topic 2: Budgets (continued) 2.2 Budget laws and fiscal institutions (cont.) 2.3 Distributional budget analysis; gender budgeting 2.4 Tax Expenditures Topic 3: Tax and Economic Development 3.1 Efficiency; tax and the market 3.2 Introduction to globalization, digitalisation and tax STUDENT PARTICIPATION: STUDENTS LEADING DISCUSSION ON SET READINGS
3 Intensive Day 3 Topic 4: Taxes, transfers, inequality and distributive justice 4.1 Inequality and fiscal policy 4.2 The tax-transfer system: Income tax and social security 4.3 Taxation of capital and wealth STUDENT PARTICIPATION: STUDENTS LEADING DISCUSSION ON SET READINGS
4 Intensive Day 4 Topic 5: Taxing consumption 5.1 Excises; Pigouvian taxes: alcohol, tobacco, fuel, carbon tax 5.2 Value added tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST) Topic 6: Challenges of Tax administration 6.1 Tax gap and the informal economy 6.2 Tax compliance challenges STUDENT PARTICIPATION: STUDENTS LEADING DISCUSSION ON SET READINGS
5 Intensive Day 5 Topic 7: Land and Resource taxation 7.1 Land and resource taxes in theory and practice 7.2 Transparency and budgeting for resource revenues Topic 8: Tax Incentives - Exercise and Discussion RESEARCH ESSAY MEETINGS TO BE SCHEDULED GROUP EXERCISE - TAX INCENTIVES SCHEDULED CLASS TIME
6 Intensive Day 6 Topic 8: Tax Competition and Tax Cooperation 8.1 Corporate tax rates and base; tax incentives 8.2 Multinational tax avoidance and responses to it: BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) 8.3 International Tax Cooperation CLASS CONCLUSION STUDENT CLASS PRESENTATIONS ON SET READINGS

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Leading Discussion in Class on a Set Reading 0 % * * 1
Short Written Assignment 20 % 04/05/2020 18/05/2020 1,2,4
Research Essay 80 % 10/06/2020 02/07/2020 2,3,4
Supervised Examination 80 % * 02/07/2020 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to prepare readings ahead of time and to actively participate in seminars. There will be some web-based and group exercises during the course.

Each student is required to present and lead discussion on ONE class reading, as a hurdle requirement for the course. The student then completes the short written assignment (20%) on that class reading.


There is an option to sit an in-class 3 hour examination as an alternative to the research essay for this subject.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Leading Discussion in Class on a Set Reading

Lead discussion on one of the set Class Readings in the Materials - to be allocated to each student. Time and Reading will be confirmed before class.


Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 04/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 18/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Short Written Assignment

Maximum 1000 word written Assignment on the set reading used for leading Class discussion



Full details and rubric will be available on the Wattle course page by Day 1 of the course, under the Assessment tab.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 10/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

A research essay on a topic of the student's choice.

The essay must be on a topic relevant to the course, approved by the Coordinator, maximum 5000 words, fully researched, written and referenced.

DUE DATE: Research essay DUE BY ONLINE SUBMISSION on Wednesday 10 June.

Full details and rubric will be available on the Wattle course page by Day 1 of the course, under the Assessment tab.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 80 %
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Supervised Examination

Alternative to the Research Essay:

A student can choose to sit a 3 hour Supervised Examination on the course content, in the Examination period at the end of the semester, as an alternative to the research essay. The Examination will be open book (but time will be limited). There will be a half hour reading time in addition to the 3 hour exam period. Full details will be available on Wattle by Day 1 of the course under the Assessment tab.


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Miranda Stewart

Research Interests

Tax Policy, Public Finance, Gender Policy

Miranda Stewart

By Appointment
By Appointment
Miranda Stewart

Research Interests

Miranda Stewart

By Appointment
By Appointment

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