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Joseph Tham, Visiting Associate Professor of Public Policy, Duke Center for International Development  

Office Location: 272 Rubenstein Hall
Office Phone: (919) 613-9234
Duke Box: 90237
Email Address: thamjx@duke.edu
Web Page: http://www.cashflow88.com
Web Page: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=204394
Note: Alternate email: thamjx@gmail.com Voice mail in office phone is inactive. Cell phone: 917 656 0598

Areas of Expertise

  • International
    • Applied Economics
    • International Development
  • Public Finance
    • State and Local Government Finance
    • Taxation, developing countries

Ed.D (Administration, Planning and Social Policy), Harvard University, 1994
A.B. (Mathematics), Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA 90041, 1983

Research Description: Project appraisal; Cash Flow Valuation; Economic analysis of expenditures in the health and education sectors; economic development

Typical Courses Taught:

  • Pubpol 384a, Empir analysis for econ dev
  • Pubpol 262s, Sem applied project eval

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Velez-Pareja, I. & J. Tham. "Prospective Analysis: Guidelines for Forecasting Financial Statements." Investment Management: A Modern Guide to Security Analysis and Stock Selection. Ed. S. R. Vishwanath and Chandrasekhar Krishnamurti Springer, 2009: 155-225.  [abs]
  2. Velez-Pareja, I. and J. Tham. "The Tyranny of Rounding Errors: The Mismatching of APV and the DCF in Perpetuities in Brealey and Myers 6th and 7th Edition of Principles of Corporate Finance."   (December 16, 2008).  [abs]
  3. Velez-Pareja, I., R. Ibragimov & J. Tham. "Constant Leverage and Constant Cost of Capital: A Common Knowledge Half-Truth." Estudios Gerenciales 24.107 (June, 2008): 13-34.  [abs]
  4. J. Tham. "Wacc, Value of Tax Savings and Terminal Value for Growing and Non Growing Perpetuities."   (October 11, 2007).  [abs]
  5. Velez-Pareja, I., R. Ibragimov, J. Tham, and D. Toro González. "How the Regulator Overpays Investor? A Simple Exposition of the Principles of Tariff Setting."   (August 2, 2007).  [abs]

Curriculum Vitae

Joseph Tham is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University and the Duke Center for International Development (DCID).

He is a regular member of the teaching faculty in the summer executive program on Project Appraisal and Risk Management (PARM).

Dr. Tham is a social sector economist, with a doctorate in education from Harvard University, who is especially interested in the application of cost benefit analysis to health, education and related social sectors. His main academic pursuit is in risk analysis and modeling.

In May of 2012, Dr. Tham was a consultant for the World Bank in Khartoum Sudan, on Public Investment Management System.

In the Summers of 2010 and 2011, Dr. Tham was the director for a four-week Program on Applied Cost Benefit Analysis and Cost Effectiveness Analysis for USAID officers.

In June 2010, Dr. Tham was a consultant for the World Bank on a geothermal project in Indonesia.

In the Spring of 2009, as part of a USAID project in Baku, Dr. Tham taught Project Appraisal to the students of the Special Talent Group (STG) at the Azerbaijan State Economic University (ASEU) and will continue to participate in the development of the Public Expenditure and Public Finance programs in ASEU.

Earlier, in 2006-2007, Dr. Tham was a member of the Project Appraisal Teams in the USAID Fiscal Reform and Economic Governance project in India, and taught in programs in three states in India.


Also, as a deliverable for the Fiscal Reform project, Dr. Tham contributed chapters to the Project Appraisal Practitioners’ Guide.


Professor Shukla and Dr. Tham are the co-director of the 19-week Executive Development Program in Public Policy and Management for senior government officials for the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), People’s Republic of China. This program has been conducted from 2004 to the present.

Dr. Tham is also the director of the thirteen-week Executive Education program for senior government officials from the Academy of Administration in Kazakhstan in Spring of 2011 and 2012.

In addition, Professor Shukla and Dr. Tham have directed other short-term education programs in Public Policy and Management for senior government officials from China,  (Tianjin, Xi’an, Yangzhou), India and Kazakhstan.

From 2006-2008, Dr. Tham was a member of the teaching teams for the Phase III Training Program for IAS (Indian Administrative Service) offices at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

Dr. Tham has also been teaching workshops at the U.P. Academy of Administration and Management (UPAAM),


His main research interests are cost benefit analysis, broadly defined, as well as applied risk analysis and econometric forecasting models. He has been working on the improvement of infrastructure investments in the public sector and is currently examining the issue of market-based tariff regulation in the power sector in developing countries.
At Duke University and developing countries around the world, Dr. Tham teaches courses and workshops on project appraisal and empirical analysis for economic development.

In the Fall of 2005, in the economics department, he taught a course on Cash Flow Valuation.

Most recently, he contributed a chapter titled “Prospective Analysis: Guidelines for Forecasting Financial statements” to the book “Investment management: A Modern Guide to Security Analysis and Stock Selection”, Vishwanath & Krishnamurti (Eds.) Springer, 2009.


In addition, he is contributing several chapters in an upcoming book titled “Capital Budgeting Valuation: Financial Analysis for Today’s Investment projects, Baker and English (Eds.), Wiley, 2011.

In collaboration with Ignacio Velez-Pareja, Dr. Tham has written “Principles of Cash Flow Valuation: An integrated market-based approach, Academic Press, 2004”


His numerous papers on cash flow valuation, project evaluation, cost of capital and risk analysis are available on the website of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).


Also, see the following website for additional resources on cash flow valuation.


In 2002 and 2003, Dr. Tham lectured on project appraisal in the “China’s Leaders in Development” program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

From 1996-2001, he lectured at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP), a training program managed by Harvard University, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Dr. Tham has worked in Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, China, Guatemala, Malaysia, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zambia.

Joseph Tham