Public Finance and Natural Resource Transitions

Faculty Lead(s): Roger Coupal and Don McLeod


Description:  Transition and legacies of the economies in the Rocky Mountain West can generate complex problems for community finances. Traditional industries decline or change thus creating new jobs and new or different local linkages that support local economies.

However, local government public finances are often trapped in old economic bases instead of emerging ones. Formal changes to tax rates and incidence, or tax structure are often limited State laws. Economic development is primarily a local effort and integral to that effort is the efficient provision of public service needed by residents.

Our team, which includes faculty at the University of Wyoming and at the University of Queensland will study the provision of public education in Wyoming and Australia to assess the degree that changes in economic base either support or negatively affect this provision of public services.

The student will gain a broad understanding of transitions within resource-based economies, and details of public finance for both general local government and education. Also, depending on successful funding the student maybe able to spend a semester at the University of Queensland.


graduate assistant from the masters in agricultural and applied economics program studying public finance

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