Howard J. Shatz

Photo of Howard Shatz
Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Ph.D. in public policy, Harvard University; M.I.A. in international policy analysis and management, Middle East studies, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; postgraduate study in Middle East studies, Tel Aviv University; A.B. in history, Brown University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Howard J. Shatz is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, specializing in international economics, including economic development, foreign direct investment, and international trade; and economics and national security. His RAND research has included civil service reform, economic development policies, labor markets, and data collection systems in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; technology-based development in China; the economics and finances of terrorist groups in Iraq; the development of socio-economic strategy by governments; Iraqi and Afghan economic issues; the energy economies of Latin America and Africa; a country study of Mexico; highways and the U.S. economy; global aging; and the economic effects of a multiple-species habitat conservation area in California. From 2007 to 2008, he was on leave from RAND, serving as a senior economist at the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers, where his policy areas foreign investment, the economy of Iraq, and U.S. exports.

Shatz has written academic journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports about trade and labor markets, exchange rates and economic performance, the geography of international investment, services trade, and trade barriers and low-income countries. Before joining RAND, he was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he focused on California's interactions with the global economy. Shatz has held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and has worked as a consultant to the World Bank and on advisory projects for countries in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia.

Recent Projects

  • Economic development policies and labor markets in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • The development of socio-economic strategy by governments
  • Military primacy and the U.S. economy
  • The economic and financial behavior of threat groups in Iraq
  • Technology-based development in Guangzhou. China

Selected Publications

Benjamin W. Bahney, Radha K. Iyengar, Patrick B. Johnston, Danielle F. Jung, Jacob N. Shapiro, Howard J. Shatz, "Insurgent Compensation: Evidence from Iraq," American Economic Review, 103(3):518-522, 2013

Keith Crane, Howard J. Shatz, Shanthi Nataraj, Steven W. Popper, Xiao Wang, An Outline of Strategies for Building an Innovation System for Knowledge City, RAND Corporation (MG-1240), 2012

C. Ross Anthony, Michael L. Hansen, Krishna B. Kumar, Howard J. Shatz, Georges Vernez, Building the Future: Summary of Four Studies to Develop the Private Sector, Education, Health Care, and Data for Decisionmaking for the Kurdistan Region - Iraq, RAND Corporation (MG-1185), 2012

Martin C. Libicki, Howard J. Shatz, Julie E. Taylor, Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power, RAND Corporation (MG-1091), 2011

Howard J. Shatz, Karin E. Kitchens, Sandra Rosenbloom, Martin Wachs, Highway Infrastructure and the Economy: Implications for Federal Policy, RAND Corporation (MG-1049), 2011

Benjamin Bahney, Howard J. Shatz, Carroll Ganier, Renny McPherson, Barbara Sude, with Sara Beth Elson, Ghassan Schbley, An Economic Analysis of the Financial Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, RAND Corporation (MG-1026), 2010

Gustavo Bobonis, Howard J. Shatz, "Agglomeration, Adjustment, and State Policies in the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1):30-43, 2007

Orley Ashenfelter, Stephen Ciccarella, Howard J. Shatz, "French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce?" Journal of Wine Economics, 2(1):56-75, 2007

Honors & Awards

  • 2013 Silver Merit Award, RAND Corporation
  • 2011 Gold Merit Award, RAND Corporation

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary:; New York Daily News; Politico


  • Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Boeing in Everett, Washington, September 23, 2015

    The U.S.-China Summit Is More Significant for Xi Jinping Than Obama

    The Xi-Obama summit will provide the opportunity to discuss contentious issues like cybersecurity and the South China Sea, as well as other issues, such as climate change and economic cooperation. For Xi, the visit underscores the tremendous importance of messaging to a Chinese audience the narrative of a continued stable and robust partnership with the country that matters most to China politically and economically.

    Sep 24, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Iraqi security forces during a patrol, looking for Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Ramadi, April 9, 2015

    Iraq Is Bankrolling ISIL

    Iraq continues to fund ISIL by continuing salaries to the many Iraqi government employees who live in ISIL-controlled territory. That fact is a reminder of how poorly the country has been governed.

    May 26, 2015 Politico

  • A resident of Tabqa city on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, August 24, 2014

    To Defeat the Islamic State, Follow the Money

    ISIS, likely the world's richest terrorist organization, has bills to pay and mouths to feed. If U.S. President Obama wants to defeat them, he should follow the money.

    Sep 10, 2014 Politico

  • An Islamic State militant uses a loud-hailer to announce to residents of Tabqa city that Tabqa air base has fallen to Islamic State militants, August 24, 2014

    How ISIS Funds Its Reign of Terror

    ISIS raises much of its money just as a well-organized criminal gang would do. It smuggles, it extorts, it skims, it fences, it kidnaps and it shakes down. Although supposedly religiously inspired, its actions are more like those of an organized criminal cult.

    Sep 8, 2014 New York Daily News

  • Glimpse of bin Laden Techniques in Captured Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq

    Captured financial documents of al-Qa'ida's Iraq affiliate in Anbar Province revealed its internal operations and enabled one of the most comprehensive assessments of an al-Qa'ida linked group, write Benjamin Bahney, Renny McPherson, and Howard J. Shatz.

    May 27, 2011 and