As a political economist and social scientist, I'm using this blog to post and share articles, my writings and other research that pertains to public policies related to cities, inter-governmental relations, federalism, public finances and economic development in the United States, Latin America and around the world.  In general, I am looking to find new financial mechanisms for the developing world. In that context, I evaluate government structures, municipal debt, taxes and other public finances. In particular, I study how governments fund their public programs particularly at the local level. 

My  recent publications have appeared in World Development, Governance, International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Latin American Research Review, Public Administration Review, and Public Budgeting and Finance. Dr. Smith has taught public policy classes at Washington DC (George Mason University), Miami (Florida International University) and Mexico City (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and the Iberoamericana University).

My PhD in Public Administration from Florida International University focused on the local finances in Latin America.  Under the direction of Allan Rosenbaum, Meredith Newman, Keith Revell, David Bray and Andrew Selee,  my dissertation addressed the link between fiscal autonomy and economic development from a comparative perspective between Mexico and Argentine cities.  I was a recipient of a Fulbright-García Robles fellowship in Mexico where I worked at CIDE. Previously, I earned my Masters in Public Policy from American University in Washington, DC and a BA in Political Science, Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). 

Before my doctoral studies, I served as an economic policy advisor for Western Hemisphere affairs for Secretary Clinton at the US Department of State and as public affairs specialist at the Inter-American Foundation, a small independent government agency which provides grants to community based initiatives in Latin America.  I have traveled to nearly every country in the region. 

Currently in Mexico, I study the municipal bond market and serve as a consultant and professor.  I've consulted for  several international organizations (OECD, IDB, OAS, World Bank) on issues of fiscal federalism, auditing systems, taxes, municipal and state debt, state own enterprises and other areas of fiscal policy. Here is more info:

Topics covered in this blog include fiscal policy, financial regulation, decentralization, climate change, urbanization and economic development.  You will also find detailed information about the cities that I have lived: Washington DC, Mexico City, Buenos Aries and Miami. In particular, I focus on how the cities have promoted economic development and other public policies to strengthen their local economies. Posts are in Spanish and English.

Also, I have occasionally also included collections of songs, poems and whatnots to personalize this site. My father is a photographer and has trained me, so I've added a few of my photos here and there so you don't get bored with the academic writing. All is mine here excepted where otherwise cited. Enjoy and please, provide comments!

Heidi Jane Smith

Updated 8/17

Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico Authors ...