Political Economy

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.

  • Members of the Group of 20 during the G20 leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015

    Commentary

    Foreign Policy Challenges on the Campaign Trail

    Foreign and security policy will play a significant role in the run-up to the November U.S. presidential election. The campaign offers voters a wide spectrum of responses to the challenges of militant Islamism, ties with China and Russia, dealings with rogue states like North Korea, and free trade.

    Feb 4, 2016

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement that sanctions will be lifted on Iran after the IAEA verified that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal, January 16, 2016

    Commentary

    Iran, Terrorism, and Nonproliferation After the Nuclear Deal

    As Iran re-enters global markets, the Obama administration needs a strategy that accounts for the nuclear deal's potentially adverse implications for U.S. counterterrorism policy as well as its advantages for nonproliferation policy.

    Jan 28, 2016

  • Daniel McFadden

    Report

    RAND Summer Institute Lecture Series 2015

    The RAND Summer Institute (RSI) is comprised of conferences addressing critical issues facing our aging population. This video session is from the 22nd Annual RAND Summer Institute, held July 8-9, 2015, in Santa Monica, California.

    Jan 26, 2016

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin greets spectators at the World Judo Championships in Chelyabinsk

    Commentary

    The Tide Is Going Out on Putin

    Russia is losing ground in domestic politics, economics, and foreign policy. It could take steps to strengthen its position, such as withdrawing from Ukraine, privatizing inefficient state enterprises, and improving the investment climate.

    Jan 25, 2016

  • A laborer lifts a basket of crushed bricks at a construction site in Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 22, 2014

    Commentary

    What to Do About Informal Employment in Developing Countries

    The staying power of informal employment in developing countries is a concern, because informal employees (e.g., day laborers) tend to receive lower wages, fewer benefits, and fewer legal protections. How can policymakers improve conditions for informal workers?

    Jan 22, 2016

  • A mother and son in Nigeria

    Commentary

    A Promising Approach for Expanding Health Insurance to Nigeria's Informal Sector

    The Kwara Community Health Insurance program in Nigeria provides a remarkable proof of concept and template for addressing the challenge of providing risk protection for the poor in the developing world.

    Jan 22, 2016

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after the IAEA verified that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal, January 16, 2016

    Commentary

    Iran Nuclear Deal Is Working, but Challenges Persist

    The nuclear agreement with Iran made sanctions relief contingent on Iran's first having verifiably undertaken steps to dismantle its nuclear program. It has completed these tasks, and it is now the United States' turn to implement its obligations under the deal.

    Jan 19, 2016

  • Afghan carpet salesmen fold a carpet after showing it to customers at a shop in Kabul

    Report

    Lessons from the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan

    Economic development is likely to remain a key component of U.S. contingency operations. Assessing the activities of the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan offers insights for similar projects in the future.

    Jan 12, 2016

  • Image of the Army Local Effects Dashboard

    Tool

    Interactive Database of the Army's Local Economic Effects

    This interactive, web-based tool accompanies The Army's Local Economic Effects, and maps the economic effects of national-level U.S. Army spending for each state broken down by fiscal year (2012-2014) and congressional district.

    Jan 4, 2016

  • Pumpjack and oil refinery plant in West Texas

    Commentary

    What Will Happen After the Oil Export Ban Is Repealed?

    Without the crude oil export ban, producers could sell their product abroad without discounting it, and the Gulf Coast refineries could specialize in the heavier oil for which they are optimized. On the whole, the global refining industry would likely enjoy efficiency gains.

    Dec 22, 2015

  • Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume I: Alabama Through Minnesota

    This appendix to The Army's Local Economic Effects provides descriptions of the overall economic effects for each state, details by fiscal year from 2012-2014, and a parsing of the data by congressional district for Alabama through Minnesota.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • The groundbreaking ceremony at the Van Horne housing community

    Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects

    This report presents findings on the economic activity supported by national-level Army spending in each of the 435 congressional districts for fiscal years 2012-2014.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume II: Mississippi Through Wyoming

    This appendix to The Army's Local Economic Effects provides descriptions of the overall economic effects for each state, details by fiscal year from 2012-2014, and a parsing of the data by congressional district for Mississippi through Wyoming.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Woman paying cash for prescription medications at pharmacy

    Commentary

    Bringing Sky-High Prescription Drug Prices Down to Earth

    Increased competition among drug companies and improved bargaining power of insurers and consumers could help keep high prescription prices in check.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Coleman Moshi, during a hike up to the first base camp of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Commentary

    Africa Succeeds in Meeting Many Long-Term U.N. Development Goals

    Africa's great strides toward meeting the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals are a compelling reminder of the continent's potential to create a more prosperous and sustainable environment for its people.

    Dec 7, 2015

  • An Armed Forces of the Philippines marine sentry stands watch as the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon arrives in Puerto Princesa to participate in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'Strategic Asia 2015–16, Foundations of National Power in the Asia-Pacific'

    Which nations have the resources and motivations to either cooperate with or frustrate Washington's designs? What liabilities and assets reside with each country? The book, Strategic Asia 2015–16, surveys some of the most powerful nations in Asia with such questions in mind.

    Nov 30, 2015

  • The bones of a bowhead whale, a food source and cultural icon of the native Inupiat peoples who have lived in Alaska for centuries

    Commentary

    It's Getting Harder and Harder to Live on Top of the World

    In September, a relatively new kind of storm, made possible due to larger swaths of ice-free Arctic Ocean, battered Barrow, Alaska, washing away chunks of coastline, threatening businesses, houses, and the freshwater supply. While mitigation efforts are necessary on a macro level, adaptation measures are needed now for such Arctic communities.

    Nov 30, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Learning for the NHS on Procurement and Supply Chain Management: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

    Principally drawing on a rapid evidence assessment (REA), we sought to (1) describe approaches to procurement and SCM in selected areas and (2) identify best practices that may inform procurement and SCM in the NHS.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • An elderly person's hands on a doctor's desk next to a stethoscope

    Commentary

    What Happens If the ACA's Tax Credits Are Replaced with Premium Support?

    As policymakers consider alternatives to reduce the federal government's financial burden from providing subsidies under the ACA, they should consider the consequences for enrollees. Existing premium-support models yield considerable savings for the federal government but could create age and income disparities in coverage.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • Report

    The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Executive Summary: (Hebrew translation)

    A Hebrew translation of an executive summary of a study estimating the net costs and benefits if the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians follows its current trajectory over the next ten years, relative to five other trajectories.

    Nov 23, 2015