Marvin Phaup

Professorial Lecturer and Research Scholar
Faculty: Adjunct
Address: Media and Public Affairs Building
805 21 Street NW
Washington, District Of Columbia
United States
Phone: 202-531-1862
[email protected]; [email protected]

Areas of Expertise

  • Federal Budget Concepts, Process, and Policy
  • Budgetary Accounting and Scoring
  • Federal Budget Performance and Reform
  • Financial Economics and Public Policy

Professor Marvin Phaup’s research aims to improve the performance of federal budgeting by the criteria of efficiency, equity, and stabilization. From July 2009 through December 2010, he directed the Federal Budget Reform Initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to joining the Trachtenberg School in 2007, he headed the Financial Studies/Budget Process group at the Congressional Budget Office. His work focused on federal financial policies and their budgetary treatment. He contributed to the development of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, which changed the budgetary accounting for loans and guarantees from cash-basis to accrual. Under his direction, the financial studies group addressed the federal cost of government-sponsored enterprises, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac; the budgetary treatment of federal investment in risky private securities; effects of including the cost of market risk in the subsidy cost of federal credit; the value of pension insurance provided by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; terrorism insurance; the market value of FHA mortgage insurance; the option value of deposit insurance; the cost of student loan programs; reconciling federal financial statements with the budget; and possible revisions to the Federal Credit Reform Act.

He has published widely and served as consultant to the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund. He also was adviser to the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

He has received the S. Kenneth Howard Award from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management for lifetime professional achievement in public budgeting and finance and the National Distinguished Service Award from the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis. 


Ph.D. Economics, University of Virginia
M.A. Economics, University of Virginia
B.A. Economics, Roanoke College


Selected Publications:

“Making Better Budget Decisions Easier: Some Changes Suggested by Behavioral Research,” (with James Hearn), Papers on Reimagining the Federal Budget Process, 5, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, June 17, 2016

“Federal Budget Reform: A Behaviorally Informed Approach,“ (with James Hearn), Working papers for the National Budgeting Roundtable, Center on the Public Service, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University, 2016

“Budgeting for Fiscal Uncertainty and Bias: A Federal Process Proposal,” (with Imtiaz Bhatti), Public Budgeting & Finance, 35,2 (June 2015) pp. 89-105

“Could a Corporate Accounting Change Cost Millions of Jobs?” The Conversation, December 29, 2014

“A Case for Adding a Long-Term Budget Constraint to the Congressional Budget Process” (with Imtiaz Bhatti), Albany Government Law Review, 6,1, 2013

“Tax Expenditures, the Size and Efficiency of Government, and Implications for Budget Reform,” (with Leonard Burman), Tax Policy and the Economy, Jeffrey R. Brown (ed.) University of Chicago Press, 2012, pp. 93-124.  Also NBER Working Papers No. 17268.

“Alternative Measures of U.S. Fiscal Deficits,” (with Zhuojun Xu), Journal of Washington Institute of China Studies, Vol. 5, No. 3, (Spring 2011), 88-96.

“Budgeting for Disasters: Focusing on the Good Times,” (with Charlotte Kirschner) OECD Journal on Budgeting, Volume 2010, 1, 21-44.

“Federal Budgeting in the United States,” (with Charlotte Kirschner) Comparative Public Budgeting: A Global Perspective, Charles Menifield (ed) Jones and Bartlett Learning, Sudbury, Mass., 2010, Chapter 18, pp 329-349.

“The Cost of Risk to the Government and Its Implications for Federal Budgeting” (with Deborah Lucas), Measuring and Managing Federal Financial Risk, D. Lucas (ed.), NBER Conference Report, University of Chicago Press, 2010, pp. 29-54

 “Federal Use of Implied Guarantees: Some Preliminary Lessons from the Current Financial Distress,” Public Administration Review, July/August 2009, pp.651-659

“Reforming Credit Reform” (with Deborah Lucas), Public Budgeting & Finance, 28, 4 90-110 (2008)

"Budgeting for Contingent Losses" (with David Torregrosa), Handbook of Government Budgeting, Roy T. Myers (ed) Jossey-Bass (1999) pp. 699-719.

The President’s Commission to Study Capital Budgeting: An Interim Review, Public Budgeting & Finance, 18, 3 (1998) 1-10.

“Credit Reform, Negative Subsides, and FHA,” Public Budgeting & Finance, 16.1 (Spring 1996) 23-36.


Personal Interests

  • Cycling/gym
  • Reading/writing
  • Refusing to age gracefully


  • Phaup’s analysis of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was featured in Gretchen Morgenson’s analysis of the financial crisis of 2008, Reckless Endangerment, Times Books, 2011.
  • In May 2014, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Roanoke College, his alma mater, for his contribution to “…shaping U.S. thinking and policy regarding public finance and budgeting.”
  • In 2015, he was elected Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration.

Classes Taught

PPPA 6005  Public Budgeting and Finance
PPPA 6051  Governmental Budgeting
PPPA 6054  Public Budgeting and Tax Policy
PPPA 6085  Issues in Public Budgeting