Economics

Economics is a discipline concerned with the consumption, production, and transfer of wealth by and among individuals (microeconomics) and communities or nations (macroeconomics); subspecialties range from economic development and planning to health economics and international economic relations. RAND's many economists contribute to multidisciplinary research projects by exploring the intersections where economics informs social, military, and governmental policy decisions.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the October 8 Factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang August 31, 2014

    Blog

    What Does North Korea Want?

    Currently, three U.S. citizens — Matthew Todd Miller, Jeffrey Fowle, and Kenneth Bae — are being detained in North Korea. It is likely that North Korea wants someone like a former U.S. president to come to North Korea instead of U.S. Ambassador Bob King, whose visits were cancelled.

    Sep 18, 2014

  • Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev and President Putin attend a meeting with members of the Russian Parliament in Yalta, Crimea, August 14, 2014

    Blog

    Crimean Adventure Will Cost Russia Dearly

    Moscow may have overreached, as it appears ill-prepared to come up with the necessary funds to cover Crimea-related costs. Infrastructure improvements, development aid, government operations, and other costs will be a multi-billion drain — as much as $4.5 billion per year — on Russia's already strained budget.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • U.S. currency wrapped around prescription bottle

    Blog

    The Winding Path to Effective Bundled Payment

    It's not unusual for a demonstration to fall short of its original objectives. Learning from such cases is part of the innovation process. This is especially worthwhile for bundled payment, which has many potential benefits for patients, providers, and payers.

    Aug 29, 2014

  • People walk along the street soon after, what locals say, was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk on August 20, 2014

    Blog

    Make Russia an Offer on Ukraine It Can't Refuse

    An international initiative that does not appear to emanate from NATO or the EU could help bring Russia to the table, in part by accepting that Moscow, too, has a role. An international peacekeeping force could open the way for a negotiated end to the conflict.

    Aug 20, 2014

  • A man purported to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State, allegedly in what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq

    Blog

    Hitting ISIS Where It Hurts: Disrupt Its Cash Flow in Iraq

    President Obama's decision last week to conduct airstrikes against ISIS and send humanitarian aid will help buy time for both Iraqi and Kurdish forces to regroup. But Baghdad needs a strategy that aligns the political and economic interests of all Iraqis to hit ISIS where it hurts: its war chest.

    Aug 13, 2014

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai May 21, 2014

    Report

    China's Strategy Toward South and Central Asia

    China's response to the complex challenges on its western borders during the past two decades has been to adopt an "Empty Fortress" strategy, whereby China boldly projects an image of considerable strength in Central and South Asia to mask serious frailty. China is not a major threat to U.S. interests there and is unlikely to pose one in the near future.

    Aug 11, 2014

  • Poker chips and special dice -- one with the caduceus on dice and a bag of money on the other -- on green background.

    Periodical

    Cut the Crapshoot: For Medical Innovation Worth the Gamble, It's Time to Close the Casino

    The financial incentives driving medical innovations encourage inventors and investors to gamble on technologies that offer potentially big payouts without substantially improving health, regardless of the effect on health spending. Here are ten ways to fix the system.

    Aug 7, 2014

  • Stethoscope with roll of dollar bills

    Journal Article

    Bundled Payments Fall Short in California

    Despite widespread interest in bundled payments as a strategy to control health care costs, implementation efforts continue to disappoint. A pilot program in California failed to meet its goals, succumbing to recruitment challenges, regulatory uncertainty, administrative burden, and concerns about financial risk.

    Aug 4, 2014

  • COMAC ARJ21 Chinese commercial passenger jet

    Testimony

    China’s Industrial Policies in Commercial Aviation Manufacturing

    Until recently, the Chinese aircraft manufacturing industry produced aircraft almost exclusively for its military. As China transitions to commercial aircraft production, does it need to rethink its investments and policies to become more globally integrated and competitive?

    Jul 31, 2014

  • A son, father, and grandfather fishing from a dock

    Blog

    Demographics Add Urgency for Action on Dementia Long-Term Care

    Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it but also has major consequences for those who must care for them. More than 15 million Americans provide care for loved ones with dementia—tending to their daily, routine needs and ensuring their medical needs are met.

    Jul 28, 2014

  • Small business in Indonesia

    Project

    Reforming Indonesia's Policies Towards Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

    The objective of this project for RAND is to foster awareness and consensus within the Government of Indonesia (GoI) for key reforms toward a more comprehensive and coherent development strategy and policies for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) at the national level.

    Jul 25, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Doing Wrong to Do Right? Social Preferences and Dishonest Behavior

    Can pro-social preferences lead to dishonest or unethical behavior? Lab evidence suggests that it can. In this paper, we document some of the first field evidence of this phenomenon.

    Jul 23, 2014

  • South African men create a sandbag building for EcoSteps

    Blog

    Could Alternatives Ease the Misery of South Africa's Housing Crisis?

    The government's plan to replace cardboard shacks with cement houses may not be the only route to easing South Africa's housing woes. Increasingly, academic researchers, non-governmental organizations, and private companies are demonstrating pragmatic, low-cost, alternatives.

    Jul 10, 2014

  • black doctor and microscope

    Project

    Africa Mapping: Current State of Health Research on Poverty-related and Neglected Infectious Diseases in sub-Saharan ...

    While funding is the key problem, clinical researchers seeking to combat infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa cite the lack of policymaker understanding of the importance of their work as a major barrier, above lack of human resources and lack of infrastructure.

    Jul 3, 2014

  • Highway traffic

    Event

    A New Way to Pay for Transportation: Exploring a Shift from Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees

    Increasing fuel efficiency and the rise of alternative fuel vehicles that do not use gasoline have led to growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs — shortfalls that are likely to become even more acute in coming years. In this Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola will discuss innovations in the use of mileage-based fees.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • Former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole speaking at the 2014 Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement

    Blog

    Sen. Elizabeth Dole Urges Graduates to Use Storytelling to Advance Policy

    Facts and objective analysis are important, but for policy analysts to make a difference in the real world they also have to be able to tell a story, former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said at the June 21 Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • old hands on walking stick

    Project

    Dementia Blueprint

    Annual costs of dementia exceed those of cancer and heart disease and will only continue to rise as the nation's population ages. Key policy options can help strengthen and improve long-term services and supports for those with dementia and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • Report

    Investigating time lags and attribution in the translation of cancer research: A case study approach

    RAND Europe and HERG were asked by UK medical research funders to investigate returns to public/charitable investment in cancer research. This report details the five case studies conducted as part of this work and observations emerging across them.

    Jun 15, 2014

  • Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at an interview with Reuters on May 22, 2014, where he demanded that China withdraw an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam in waters also claimed by Hanoi

    Blog

    China Unlikely to Blink in Maritime Dispute with Vietnam over Oil Rig

    Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, where China moved a state-owned oil rig, reportedly accompanied by six warships, into disputed waters last month, triggering anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam that resulted in four deaths.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Aid Under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict

    We estimate the causal effect of a large development program on conflict in the Philippines through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary poverty threshold used to assign eligibility for the program.

    Jun 1, 2014