Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy

Curriculum Vitae

Michelle L. Lofton is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy (Ph.D., Syracuse University). Professor Lofton’s research interests broadly explore the intersection of public finance and public management by investigating financial tools and techniques to better inform management, strategy, and policy decisions. Much of her research experience focuses on local government financial management in the United States in respect to working capital management, fiscal constraints, and budgeting. Her current research activities investigate the motivating factors and strategies used by local government managers to manage short-term resources including unrestricted cash, short-term debt, and interfund transfers. With a passion for continual learning, Professor Lofton serves as a researcher engaged in expanding knowledge in public administration and persistently striving to educate others.

  • Ph.D, Syracuse University, Public Administration, 2018
  • MPA, The University of Georgia, Public Administration, 2013
  • BS, Trinity University, Business Administration and Economics, 2011
Areas of Expertise
  • Public financial management
  • Public budgeting and finance
  • Public management
Honors, Awards, and Achievements
  • Association for Budgeting & Financial Management (ABFM), Executive Committee Board Member (2022-2025)
  • American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)
  • ASPA – Association for Budgeting & Financial Management (ABFM)
  • ASPA – Conference of Minority Pubic Administrators (COMPA)
  • ASPA – Georgia Chapter
  • ASPA – Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM)
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM)
  • Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)
Research Interests

Professor Lofton’s has two research agendas: (1) the impacts of financial managers’ decision-making on a government’s ability to manage its resources, and (2) the effects of imposed fiscal and economic constraints on a government’s ability to manage resources. Her work is primarily concentrated on financial and strategic factors that motivate the use of short-term resources including unrestricted cash and short-term debt as well as imposed fiscal constraints which can impact the use of short-term resources.

Selected Publications

Buerger, C., & Lofton, M. L. (2023) “The Interplay Between Fiscal Institutions and the Great Recession: Evidence from U.S. School Districts”. American Educational Research Association Open, 9.

Lozano-Rojas, F. A. & Lofton, M. L. (2023) “A Structural Change in the Power to Tax: The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Sales Tax Collections across Georgia Counties”. Municipal Finance Journal, 44(1), 3-44.

Yoon, N., & Lofton, M. L. (2023). “Open for Economic Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Factors Related to State Reopening Policies in a Federal Policy Vacuum”. Public Performance & Management Review, 46(1), 60-85.

Lofton, M. L., & Lueken, M. F. (2022). “Distribution of Education Savings Account Usage among Families: Evidence from the Florida Gardiner Scholarship Program”. Journal of School Choice, 16(4), 649-674.

Lofton, M. L. (2022). “The Impact of Excess Taxing Capacity on Short-Term Resources”. Public Budgeting & Finance, 42(1), 3-27.

Lofton, M. L., & Ivonchyk, M. (2022). “Financial Manager Professionalism and Use of Interfund Transfers: Evidence from Georgia Counties”. Public Budgeting & Finance, 42(2), 171-195.

Lofton, M. L., & Kioko, S. N. (2021). “The Use of Short-Term Debt by General Purpose Governments”. Public Budgeting & Finance, 41(4), 71-93.

Lofton, M. L. (2021). “What Influences Working Capital Management? A Survey of New York Local Government Financial Officers”. Municipal Finance Journal, 41(4), 61-86.