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.

  • Border fence between San Diego, California, U.S. and Tijuana, Mexico

    Commentary

    Why a Border Wall Would Do Little Besides Waste Money

    A wall along the U.S. border with Mexico would not eliminate illegal migration, its maintenance and monitoring would be costly, and it would likely be undermined by tunnelers. Also, severing legitimate cross-border movements for trade and tourism would be tremendously damaging to the U.S. economy.

    Sep 26, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Brexit: What Have We Learned So Far?

    On 23 June 2016, the British electorate defied the expectations of political leaders, financial markets and foreign allies by voting to withdraw from the European Union.

    Sep 26, 2016

  • Stethoscope on an American flag

    Q&A

    Estimating the Impacts of the Trump and Clinton Health Plans

    An analysis of the proposed health care plans of the two major parties' presidential candidates estimated the likely effects of each policy relative to the ACA in 2018 on the number of people covered, consumer out-of-pocket spending, and the federal deficit.

    Sep 23, 2016

  • U.S. Amb. Samantha Power, South Korean Amb. Hahn Choong-hee, and Japanese Amb. Koro Bessho after the UN Security Council meeting to discuss the latest missile launches by North Korea, New York, September 6, 2016

    Commentary

    On Northeast Asia

    China has been a major proponent of regional security for Northeast Asia but appears disinterested in Republic of Korea (ROK) security against North Korean missile and nuclear weapon threats.

    Sep 23, 2016

  • F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, rest on the flightline at Los Llanos Air Base, Spain, September 16, 2016

    Commentary

    Economic Benefits of U.S. Overseas Security Commitments Appear to Outweigh Costs

    U.S. policymakers should carefully weigh the potential losses against the potential gains when considering the desirability of large-scale retrenchments of U.S. overseas security commitments.

    Sep 23, 2016

  • News Release

    Cutting U.S. Overseas Security Commitments Could Cost U.S. World Trade Billions

    Reducing U.S. overseas security commitments, including troops and security treaties, could lead to greatly reduced trade, with the economic costs estimated to be more than triple any associated savings in U.S. defense spending.

    Sep 22, 2016

  • A formation of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft fly in formation as they return from the Samurai Surge training mission near Mount Fuji, Japan, June 5, 2012

    Report

    The Value of Overseas Security Commitments

    U.S. overseas security commitments have positive and significant effects on both U.S. bilateral trade and non-U.S. global bilateral trade. If commitments were reduced, the economic costs from lost trade would be more than triple any associated savings in defense spending.

    Sep 22, 2016

  • Research Brief

    Economic Benefits of U.S. Overseas Security Commitments Could Far Outweigh Costs

    Amid intensifying debate over U.S. funding and resources, RAND researchers find that the economic benefits of U.S. overseas security commitments could far exceed the costs.

    Sep 22, 2016

  • Tool

    Estimating the Value of Overseas Security Commitments: An Interactive Visualization

    Researchers estimated that U.S. economic losses from major retrenchments of overseas security commitments would be more than triple any gains. This visualization compares different estimated gains and losses from selected retrenchment levels and selected tax, spending, and trade multipliers.

    Sep 22, 2016

  • Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

    Commentary

    Central Bank Perversity: The Downside to Aggressive Monetary Policy

    Aggressive monetary policy has negative effects on retirees, on income inequality, and on market stability—both domestically and globally.

    Sep 13, 2016

  • A dishwasher working in a restaurant kitchen

    Commentary

    College Education No Panacea for Worker Inequality Woes

    The earnings gap between high school and college graduates has grown with each generation, but even a college degree does not ensure a good income. Just as the nature of jobs for high school graduates has been changing due to consolidation, trade, and technology, the quality of employment for college graduates is beginning to shift.

    Aug 31, 2016

  • A ship is unloaded using Super Post Panamax cranes in Miami, Florida, May 19, 2016

    Commentary

    Eliminating Jobs or Strengthening the Economy? The Impact of Trade Policies on the American Worker

    The enormous benefits of trade include economic growth, more variety for industry and consumers, and lower prices. But trade can displace some American workers. Training programs, relocation assistance, and wage insurance can help.

    Aug 30, 2016

  • Report

    Review of Six DFID-funded Growth Research Programmes: Main report

    The Department for International Development in the UK provided funding to organisations focused on economic growth research over the last years. This review compared six programmes over time, against each other, and against relevant benchmarks.

    Aug 23, 2016

  • Journal Article

    China's Evolving Approach to Economic Diplomacy

    This article argues that China's approach to economic diplomacy following the global financial crisis, while designed to improve the country's competitiveness, has weakened the role that trade and investment have traditionally played in restraining tensions with the U.S.

    Aug 10, 2016

  • Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, in Beijing, China, April 30, 2016

    Commentary

    Do Economic Ties Limit the Prospect of Conflict?

    China has grown stronger economically and militarily over the past 35 years and has become more assertive. Its trade and investment links with Japan are substantial but they have been declining, and are less of a constraint on conflict than before.

    Aug 9, 2016

  • The Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2, 2016

    Commentary

    The Olympic Legacy — What Can Rio Learn?

    Rio will spend $14.4 billion on the Olympics. Like other host cities, it hopes to achieve an “Olympic legacy” to ensure that this investment pays dividends after the games and provides long-term economic, social, sporting, and cultural benefits.

    Aug 3, 2016

  • Women walk near a poster displaying a government message against Ebola, at a maternity hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 14, 2014

    Commentary

    The Economic Rationale for Investing in Family Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Proven benefits to reduced fertility — or to delayed start to childbearing and greater spacing between births — include lower maternal mortality, fewer unsafe abortions, reduced risks from early childbearing, and women's ability to engage in more income-generating opportunities.

    Aug 3, 2016

  • U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

    Blog

    A Summer Reading List for Congress

    To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.

    Aug 2, 2016

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives for a personal send-off for members of the Russian Olympic team at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, July 27, 2016

    Commentary

    How to Counter Putin's Subversive War on the West

    Russian cybercrime, Olympics doping, and other active measures have one thing in common: Moscow admits no wrongdoing. These scandals exacerbate the frigid relations between Moscow and the West. Diplomacy sometimes works slowly, but it helps.

    Aug 1, 2016

  • Ukraine's Olympic rowers training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2016

    Commentary

    The Rio Olympics Are the Site of a Battle Against 'Super Bacteria'

    Brazilian scientists detected drug-resistant bacteria growing off some of Rio de Janeiro's beaches, close to where it will host sailing and wind-surfing events, and in the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing events will take place.

    Jul 29, 2016