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.
Pretax income inequality has been driven by long-term societal trends that are numerous, complex, and hard to change. They include education, parenting and family structure, neighborhood, immigration, globalization, and IT-based technology.
Changing how we make development decisions requires a cultural shift as much as it requires an analytical shift. Methodological innovations like Robust Decision Making can help. By motivating and equipping analysts to manage uncertainty, they can shape how we think about, discuss, and make decisions.
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.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would benefit both Ukraine and Russia in many ways, especially in greater trade, social, and cultural exchanges. Ukraine's closer association with the EU would actually increase Russian trade with Ukraine as long as Russia does not impose artificial restrictions.
Sanctions are not a button that can be pushed to strengthen the U.S. position automatically; they must be used in tandem with diplomacy, and a deeper understanding of Iranian, Chinese and Russian motivations.
The United States and the EU have a strong stake in keeping open a European option for Ukraine. A reorientation of Ukrainian policy back toward Russia would shift the strategic balance in Europe and have a negative impact on the prospects for democratic change on Europe's eastern periphery.
The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.
In response to an inquiry from The Nelson Report, RAND's Scott Harold offered some thoughts on China's new air defense zone policy and how Japan and South Korea could be brought closer together by their respective responses.
The Geneva agreement is only a first step toward a comprehensive deal but it is an important achievement. Iran's ability to move toward a nuclear weapons breakout capability has been halted in return for limited sanctions relief.
On the one hand, U.S. negotiators must convince their Iranian counterparts that the United States is serious about offering genuine sanctions relief in return for Tehran making concessions on its nuclear ambitions. On the other hand, the negotiating team must also assuage the concerns of allies and members of Congress.
It appears that Iran and the P5+1 are close to agreeing for Tehran to suspend major aspects of its program, including the enrichment of uranium to a medium level of 20 percent, and installation of more advanced centrifuges, in return for reversible and limited easing of sanctions.
The Nov. 7–8 negotiations between Iran and six world powers (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany) could prove to be a critical point in the Iranian nuclear crisis. New sanctions under consideration by Congress could lead to a weakening of the overall U.S. position.
Sanctions have taken a heavy toll on the Iranian economy, and the Islamic Republic may finally be motivated to take steps to rein in its nuclear program, including accepting limits on uranium enrichment, in exchange for lessening the pressure.
The average Somali lives on less than $2 a day. Even fishermen, who are comparatively well off by national standards, face difficulties making a living due to the chronic depletion of sea stocks from years of poaching and illegal dumping of toxic waste. Under such circumstances, the allure of piracy is clear.
Between 2001 and 2011, China's pledged foreign aid was $671 billion. In all regions and countries, China's assistance focuses on the development of natural resources, principally energy-related (coal, oil, and gas). Both parties presumably benefit from China's aid but both are also exposed to added risks and hidden costs.
Washington now has to ask itself whether its goals can best be met with these restrictions in place or whether it is time to recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place in Myanmar and forge a new relationship with its leaders based on full government-to-government relations, writes Peter Chalk.
Out-of-pocket spending on health care will decrease for both the newly insured as well as for those changing their source of insurance. These decreases will be largest for those who would otherwise be uninsured.
For a region that has seen decades of strife, Kurdistan is emerging as “the other Iraq,” a place where progress is marked by the opening of new shopping malls and the pouring of concrete at countless construction sites.
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.
The resolution of Iran's nuclear crisis does not only depend on U.S.-Iranian relations, but also on other factors including the fate of three Iranian prisoners.