Economic policies are the end results of economic planning: the decisions governments make to influence the production, consumption, and sharing of wealth. RAND research has explored economic policies from the local to the international level, including their effects on international trade and foreign relations, their relation to policies focusing on public health and the environment, and their impact on economic growth and recessions.
While there are merits to using GDP, it is clear that it fails to measure several important potential externalities to economic growth, such as environmental damage, poor working conditions, or violations of privacy rights.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans for reviving Japan's economy after two decades of stagnation differ sharply from the policies pursued by the United States and the European Union to recover from the deep recession of 2008–2009.
If greater co-ordination were possible across European nations — allied to a more professional cadre of soldiers — far fewer troops would be required, writes Matt Bassford. A reduction in land forces could deliver savings of approximately €6.5 billion in wage costs alone.
The experience to date strongly suggests that the reactions and behavior of private investors and consumers to stimulus in the U.S. and austerity in the EU critically affected each policy's tarnished record, writes Charles Wolf.
Charles Wolf asks: Can the NPO sector contribute to easing the U.S. fiscal imbalance, while helping rather than hindering the dynamic free enterprise system, and retaining societal benefits provided by nonprofits?
America's fiscal predicament and the seeming inability of its political system to resolve these matters may be taking a toll on the instruments of U.S. “soft power” and on the country's ability to shape international developments in ways that serve American interests, writes C. Richard Neu.
Budget reductions must be applied in ways that pose the least risk to national security. We need to shrink force structure carefully, reduce or delay procurement of some weapons systems, streamline management and cut personnel costs, writes Harold Brown.
The urgency with which the fiscal cliff question must be addressed should not excuse faulty calculations when it comes to the U.S. military's operational and personnel needs, write Tim Bonds and Lauren Skrabala.
The mixed picture of income inequality around the world reinforces the point that it is more important to know the underlying explanations for inequality across countries and within them, rather than the amount of inequality or changes in it, write Charles Wolf, Jr., and John Godges.
Publicly funded R&D investment is a coherent policy to support long term economic growth. Our only note of caution is about how far and how fast that growth can be delivered because the evidence we have is out of date and skewed towards the experience of just one country, write Jonathan Grant and Jon Sussex.
Failure to consider the potentially adverse effect of government spending on the preexisting level of aggregate demand was and remains a disabling flaw in Keynesian theory—then and now, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.
It's fashionable among academics and pundits to proclaim that the U.S. is in decline and no longer No. 1 in the world. The declinists say they are realists. In fact, their alarm is unrealistic, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.
The increasing importance of the G-20 summits, which include developing heavyweights such as Brazil, Russia, China and India, is testimony to the growing role emerging states now play in managing the international economy. But integrating these newcomers into the global community is unlikely to be straightforward or simple writes Lowell Schwartz.
As Florida experience shows, targets of new levy on services have clout and will use it, writes Robert Levine in an commentary.
Published commentary by RAND staff.