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.

  • U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi before resuming talks over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, March 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Don't Scare Off Investors from Iran

    Non-American corporations must decide whether the benefits of pursuing business opportunities in Iran outweigh the risks, and they will likely stay away as long as Congress keeps debating the imposition of new sanctions. Their reluctance to invest could prevent Iran from seeing the economic benefits of a nuclear deal.

    Mar 27, 2015

  • Supporters of Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari gesture in front of his election posters in Kano March 27, 2015

    Commentary

    What's at Stake in Nigeria's Elections

    Next to ethnic and religious predilections, security is by far the biggest issue for Nigerians in Saturday's election. For more than 50 years, since Nigeria's independence from British rule, its military has played an important role in peacekeeping across the continent. Paradoxically, the country has struggled with an insurgency within its own borders.

    Mar 27, 2015

  • Shardlow Wharf, Derbyshire, UK

    Commentary

    Pooling Resources for Public Service Transformation

    Poor coordination in government services has long been a source of frustration to users, and a cause of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The emerging debate about devolution of powers and responsibilities for some public services, and ongoing resource pressures, have encouraged innovative, locally developed approaches.

    Mar 25, 2015

  • Report

    One Place, One Budget? Approaches to pooling resources for public service transformation

    The Local Government Association (LGA) commissioned RAND Europe to do 9 case studies of local authorities in England (UK) using a pooled approach for service delivery. Based on this RAND Europe made recommendations for a 'public sector reform deal'.

    Mar 25, 2015

  • A man walking in the financial district of Pudong in downtown Shanghai

    Commentary

    The U.S.-China Crossover

    According to the IMF, the U.S. and Chinese GDPs in 2015 are $18.4 trillion and $11.1 trillion, respectively. Current and impending conditions in both economies suggest that the estimates of when China will surpass the U.S. are likely premature, and by a substantial margin.

    Mar 20, 2015

  • News Release

    Details and Context of New Payment Models Are Critical to Efforts of Physician Practices to Improve Care

    Physician practices are engaging in new health care payment models intended to improve quality and reduce costs, but are finding that they need help with managing increasing amounts of data and figuring out how to respond to the diversity of programs and quality metrics from different payers.

    Mar 19, 2015

  • Doctor writing at his desk next to keyboard and stethoscope

    Report

    Physicians Need Support and Guidance to Further Advance Delivery Reforms

    Physician practices are engaging in new health care payment models intended to improve quality and reduce costs, but are finding that they need help with managing increasing amounts of data and figuring out how to respond to the diversity of programs and quality metrics from different payers.

    Mar 19, 2015

  • An AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft prepares to land aboard the USS Essex in the Philippine Sea

    Commentary

    China and America's Coming Battle for Southeast Asia

    Although China and the United States are both in a position to influence the process of ASEAN integration, ultimately it will be up to the Association itself to cement internal cohesion, achieve centrality, and thereby remain a relevant player in the emerging Asian order.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • News Release

    The Costs of Mobile 'Not-Spots'

    Rural areas lacking a mobile phone signal (“not-spots”) experience a negative impact on businesses of all sizes, and could suffer detrimental effects to the long-term sustainability of communities. Residents and visitors would be willing to pay for better mobile coverage.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • Man on a bench in countryside using mobile

    Report

    The Costs of Mobile “Not-Spots”

    Rural areas lacking a mobile phone signal (“not-spots”) experience a negative impact on businesses of all sizes, and could suffer detrimental effects to the long-term sustainability of communities. Residents and visitors would be willing to pay for better mobile coverage.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • Farmer using a smartphone and tablet PC while standing in his field

    Report

    Estimating the value of mobile telephony in mobile network not-spots: Summary

    This study uses stated preference discrete choice experiments to quantify the value that residents and businesses in not-spot areas and local visitors and tourists to these areas are willing to pay for mobile phone coverage.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • A doctor listens to a patient's breathing

    Journal Article

    U. S. Hospitals Experienced Substantial Productivity Growth During 2002-11

    Productivity growth in US health care could be better than is sometimes believed, and may help alleviate concerns about Medicare payment policy under the Affordable Care Act.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • After a year of political upheaval and a war in the East, Ukrainians are facing poverty, with prices rising sharply, the currency crumbling, and a nearly bankrupt state

    Commentary

    For Ukraine, the Battle to Bolster a Crashing Economy Is as Dire as Combat in the East

    Ukraine's struggle to keep afloat economically has been daunting, as its parliament has fallen into disarray and failed to enact major economic reforms. Ukrainian lawmakers could help by dealing better with the national budget but their recent deliberations inspired little public confidence.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko (2nd L) attend a signing ceremony during a session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 3, 2015

    Commentary

    Europe Must Spend More on Arms to Deter Putin

    Demonstrations in Greece and elsewhere suggest that the European public may have little sympathy for governments not devoting most efforts to domestic discontent and foreign indebtedness. But the longtime downward trends in European defense spending matter now that Russia has chosen to flex its military might, diminished though it may be.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Essay

    The New Drug Wars

    Modern medicine is built on the promise that antibiotics will clear away the bacteria that made everything from skin infections to surgery potentially lethal just a few generations ago. But drug-resistant strains of disease have spread in recent years.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Why Chinese Discount Future Financial and Environmental Gains but Not Losses More Than Americans

    We examined differences between Chinese and Americans in discounting of future financial and environmental gains and losses.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Upper facade of modern terraced real estate

    Report

    The Rise of a Global Middle Class: Global Societal Trends to 2030

    Accelerating economic growth has led to decreasing between-country inequality over the last decade but within-country inequality is on the rise. Within-country inequality may generate a range of negative outcomes, including potential decline in social cohesion.

    Feb 12, 2015

  • Army and police officers loyal to the Iran-backed Houthi movement shout slogans as they take part in a demonstration to show support in Sanaa, January 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Relax, Iran Is Not Taking Over the Middle East

    Nuclear negotiations should not be held hostage to all of the things Iran may be doing right or wrong. The conflicts in the Middle East are much more complex than “Iran on the march” theories would have us believe.

    Feb 11, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Commentary

    The Pros and Cons of Obama's Restraint

    The signal achievement of the Obama foreign policy — fully on display in the new National Security Strategy — has been to avoid further missteps and lay the groundwork for progress by husbanding U.S. power, restoring the economic foundations of influence, and repairing the U.S. global image.

    Feb 6, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015