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Municipal Finance Conference

The 10th annual Municipal Finance Conference will be held virtually July 12-14, 2021. 

The Municipal Finance Conference aims to bring together academics, practitioners, issuers, and regulators to discuss recent research on municipal capital markets and state and local fiscal issues.

We’ve launched a quarterly municipal finance newsletter. Read the second edition here, and sign up to receive future editions here.

2021 Call for Papers2021 Webinar2021 ConferenceAbout the OrganizersAdvisory CommitteeNewsletterPast ConferencesQuestions


2021 Call for papers

We are seeking papers for our 10th annual Municipal Finance Conference, to be held virtually July 12-14, 2021 (exact agenda TBD). The conference is sponsored by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at Brandeis International Business School, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

The Municipal Finance Conference aims to bring together academics, practitioners, and state and local government officials to discuss recent research on municipal finance and economic and fiscal issues affecting state and local governments more broadly. In recent years, paper topics have included changing rules for advance refunding, the impact of local newspaper closures on municipal borrowing costs, changes in the municipal advisor market in the post Dodd-Frank era, the risk of fiscal collapse in coal-reliant communities, the sustainability of state and local government pensions, marijuana liberalization’s effects on public finance, and whether municipal bond ETFs improve market quality.

  • We are seeking proposals on a broad variety of topics related to state and local fiscal policy and public finance. We are particularly interested in research on the impact of COVID on state and local finances and lessons learned, innovations in funding infrastructure and responses to climate change, and the evolution of the municipal bond market, but we welcome proposals on any relevant subject.
  • Papers do not have to be original to this conference. We welcome papers that have been presented elsewhere.
  • Deadline for proposals is February 26, 2021. Selection decisions will be made by March 26, and drafts of selected papers will be due by May 21.
  • Please send your proposal or abstract to Haowen Chen (hnchen@brookings.edu).

The agenda for last year’s conference (including draft papers, session videos, and more) is posted here: https://www.brookings.edu/events/webinar-9th-annual-municipal-finance-conference.


2021 Webinar

The 2021 MFC webinar was held on Wednesday, February 10. A recording of the program, as well as presenter slides, are available at the link below.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and state & local revenues: Past, present, and future”

The webinar discussed several key questions, including: How has the pandemic affected state and local revenues, and how have these governments responded? How does the effect of the 2020 recession on state and local revenues compare to past recessionsWhat is the outlook for these revenues in the coming years? How have governments and the bond market reacted? 


2021 CONFERENCE

The 2021 conference will be held virtually July 12-14, 2021. Check back soon for more information.


ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

Daniel Bergstresser is Associate Professor of Finance at the Brandeis International Business School. Bergstresser’s research focuses on municipal finance and on the impact of taxation, regulation, and market structure on financial markets. This research has been published in the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Financial EconomicsThe Quarterly Journal of EconomicsReview of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Public Economics, and has been widely cited in both the academic and business press. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics at MIT, and earned an A.B. at Stanford. In addition to his service at Brandeis, Bergstresser has also served as an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, as Head of the European Credit Research group at Barclays Global Investors, and on the research staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Justin Marlowe is a Research Professor in the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy. His research and teaching are focused on public finance, with emphasis on public capital markets, infrastructure finance, state and local budgeting, and financial disclosure. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Public Budgeting & Finance. Dr. Marlowe received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a Certified Government Financial Manager. In 2018 he was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Digital Government. Prior to joining Harris, he was on the faculty at the University of Washington and the University of Kansas.

Richard Ryffel is a part-time Professor of Finance Practice at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School. During his 30-year career in investment banking and asset management, Mr. Ryffel advised colleges and universities, hospitals, cities, states, airports, school districts, and corporations on financings and capital structure, and led hundreds of financings in both the taxable and tax-exempt markets.  He previously worked at A.G. Edwards (now Wells Fargo Advisors), Bank of America, Edward Jones and J.P. Morgan.  In 2012, while in industry, he conceived and launched the Municipal Finance Conference with Professor Daniel Bergstresser of Brandeis University.

Louise Sheiner is a senior fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. She had served as an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 1993, most recently as the senior economist in the Fiscal Analysis Section for the Research and Statistics Division. (At the 2013 municipal finance conference, Sheiner and Byron Lutz at the Fed presented their work on state and local retiree health obligations.) She also has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (1996), and served as Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (1995-96). Before joining the Fed, Sheiner was an economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation.

David Wessel is director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which provides independent, non-partisan analysis of fiscal and monetary policy issues in order to further public understanding and to improve the quality and effectiveness of those policies.  He joined Brookings in December 2013 after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently, he was economics editor and wrote the weekly Capital column.  He is a contributing correspondent to The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on NPR’s Morning Edition and tweets often at @davidmwessel.


advisory committee

  • David Abel, Columbia Capital Management
  • Chris Berry, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
  • Tim Coffin, Breckinridge Capital Advisors
  • Joe Fichera, Saber Partners
  • Mark Funkhouser, Funkhouser & Associates
  • Allen Garman, Maryland Transportation Authority
  • Tracy Gordon, Urban Institute
  • Nikki Griffith, Howard County, MD Department of Finance
  • Craig Johnson, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Andy Kalotay, Andrew Kalotay Associates
  • Brian Knight, Brown University
  • Byron Lutz, Federal Reserve Board
  • Colin MacNaught, BondLink
  • Michael Nadol, PFM Group Consulting LLC
  • Carol O’Cleireacain, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Peter Orr, Intuitive Analytics
  • Kim Rueben, Urban Institute
  • Ivan Samstein, University of Chicago
  • Daniel Shoag, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Win Smith, Win Analytics LLC
  • Sarah Snyder, Ramirez & Co., Inc.
  • Bryan Sullivan, State of Delaware
  • J. Ben Watkins, State of Florida
  • Bradley Wendt, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Nancy Winkler, (formerly) City of Philadelphia
  • Stephen Winterstein, MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
  • Stephen Wood, Stephen A. Wood Consulting

PAST CONFERENCES

2020 conference

2019 conference

2018 conference

2017 conference

2016 conference

2015 conference

2014 conference

2013 conference

2012 conference

See also: 2020 Webinar – “Are state and local governments prepared for the next recession?”


QUESTIONS

Please direct any questions regarding conference registration, logistics, etc. to Anna Dawson (adawson@brookings.edu) or Haowen Chen (HNChen@brookings.edu)

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