Howard J. Shatz

Photo of Howard Shatz
Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in public policy, Harvard University; M.I.A. in international policy analysis and management, Middle East studies, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Post-graduate study in Middle East studies, Tel Aviv University; A.B. in history, Brown University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Howard J. Shatz is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He specializes in international economics and economics and national security. His RAND research has included the Chinese economy, technology-based development in China, and China-Israel relations; U.S. international economic strategy, economic competition, sanctions, and the U.S. role in the global economic order; labor-market reform in Mongolia; the finances and management of the Islamic State and its predecessors; stabilization and reconstruction in Syria; civil service reform, development policies, labor markets, and statistical systems in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; and the development of socio-economic strategy by governments. From 2007 to 2008, he was on leave from RAND, serving as a senior economist at the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers, where his policy areas were foreign investment, the Iraqi economy, and U.S. exports. Shatz has written journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports about trade and labor markets, exchange rates and economic performance, the geography of international investment, services trade, and trade barriers and low-income countries. Before joining RAND, he was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he focused on California's and the global economy. Shatz has held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and has worked as a consultant to the World Bank and on advisory projects for countries in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia. He holds a PH.D. in public policy from Harvard University.

Previous Positions

Senior Economist, U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers; Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

Recent Projects

  • The finances and prospects of the Islamic State
  • China in the developing world
  • U.S. international economic strategy
  • Labor market policy in Mongolia
  • Technology-based development in Guangzhou. China

Selected Publications

Shira Efron, Howard J. Shatz, Arthur Chan, Emily Haskel, Lyle J. Morris, and Andrew Scobell, The Evolving Israel-China Relationship, RAND Corporation (RR-2641), 2019

Andrew Scobell, Bonny Lin, Howard J. Shatz, Michael Johnson, Larry Hanauer, Michael S. Chase, Astrid Stuth Cevallos, Ivan W. Rasmussen, Arthur Chan, Aaron Strong, Eric Warner, and Logan Ma, At the Dawn of Belt and Road: China in the Developing World , RAND Corporation (RR-2273), 2018

Howard J. Shatz, U.S. International Economic Strategy in a Turbulent World, RAND Corporation (RR-1521), 2016

Patrick B. Johnston, Jacob N. Shapiro, Howard J. Shatz, Benjamin Bahney, Danielle F. Jung, Patrick Ryan, Jonathan Wallace, Foundations of the Islamic State: Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005-2010, RAND Corporation (RR-1192), 2016

Howard J. Shatz, Louay Constant, Francisco Perez-Arce, Eric Robinson, Robin Beckman, Haijing Huang, Peter Glick, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Improving the Mongolian Labor Market and Enhancing Opportunities for Youth, RAND Corporation (RR-1092), 2015

C. Ross Anthony, Michael L. Hansen, Krishna B. Kumar, Howard J. Shatz, Georges Vernez, Building the Future: Summary of Four Studies to Develop the Private Sector, Education, Health Care, and Data for Decisionmaking for the Kurdistan Region – Iraq, RAND Corporation (MG-1185), 2012

Gustavo Bobonis, Howard J. Shatz, "Agglomeration, Adjustment, and State Policies in the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1), 2007

Orley Ashenfelter, Stephen Ciccarella, Howard J. Shatz, "French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce?" Journal of Wine Economics, 2(1), 2007

Honors & Awards

  • 2013 Silver Merit Award, RAND Corporation
  • 2011 Gold Merit Award, RAND Corporation

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BBC Radio 5 Live; BBC World Service; Cheddar; i24news, Israel; Jazeera America; Rudaw English, Kurdistan & Iraq; Who What Why

Commentary: The Cleveland Plain Dealer; The Diplomat; Fox News Channel; GlobalSecurity.org; The Hill; The National Interest; Newsweek; New York Daily News; Politico; U.S. News & World Report; War on the Rocks

Commentary

  • Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi, Russia, February 15, 2019, photo by Sergei Chirikov/Pool/Reuters

    Belarusian Mortgage on Russia's Future

    In September, President Vladimir Putin signaled that Russia was throwing its weight behind embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. But any move to enforce Putin's will in Belarus could invite tougher Western sanctions and scare investors. This would exacerbate problems facing Russia's flagging economy.

    Oct 5, 2020 The Moscow Times

  • Internally displaced Syrians drive back to their homes, as some people are afraid of the COVID-19 outbreak in crowded camps, in Dayr Ballut, Syria, April 11, 2020, photo by Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

    With Rollout of Caesar Sanctions on Syria, U.S. Is Just Getting Started in New Bid to End War

    In June, the U.S. government announced the implementation of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act with a flurry of sanctions against 39 people and entities connected with the Assad regime. There is much more to come. Syria, and Russia and Iran, have not yet felt the Caesar Act in full force.

    Jul 22, 2020 RealClearDefense

  • The grill is nearly empty at dinner hour at Ben's Chili Bowl during the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2020, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    A Path to Recovery from COVID-19 for Small Businesses

    The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered small businesses around the United States. We spoke with 21 small business owners to learn more about the challenges they are facing and how they might best be helped.

    Jun 25, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto during their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, August 22, 2018, photo by Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters

    Why Russia Struggles to Feed Its Great-Power Addiction

    Russia has become less cooperative and pursued more autarky in recent years. If Moscow continues this path of resisting globalization, it could be left behind.

    May 11, 2020 The National Interest

  • An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., June 15, 2005, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    Defense Budget Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a dramatic toll on the U.S. economy. This could have significant medium-term implications for the U.S. defense budget. The U.S. Department of Defense will need to find efficiencies that are of at least the same magnitude as the recent sequestration.

    Apr 7, 2020 RealClearDefense

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. National Security

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic effect on economies across the globe. But the Middle East may be particularly affected, given the simultaneous fall in oil prices. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

    Apr 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer meet with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation, Washington, D.C., March 20, 2020, photo by Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

    The Economic Wallop of COVID-19: Q&A with RAND Experts

    As Washington continues to weigh economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are insights from RAND experts on how aid money might be best allocated, how this crisis compares to the 2008 recession, what business communities can do right now, and more.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • A man wears a mask while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The Social Distancing Economy: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from RAND experts on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.

    Mar 18, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 1, 2018, photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

    A Warming Trend in China–Russia Relations

    The China–Russia relationship is indeed growing across military, economic, and political dimensions. But it is still more anchored in shared grievances than in common visions. Both countries contest U.S. interests, but in different ways. Washington should treat them as separate strategic challenges.

    Apr 18, 2019 The Diplomat

  • Men work on a damaged building in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria, December 27, 2014, photo by Mahmoud Hebbo/Reuters

    The Syrian Civil War Is Coming to an End

    Coalition forces have driven ISIS from its final patch of territory in Syria. But the bigger challenge will be ending the ongoing civil war and rebuilding Syria to bring home millions of refugees and internally displaced people. This means creating a state that can provide safety, security, and opportunity that forestalls further rebellion and devastation.

    Apr 8, 2019 Newsweek

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in Parliament ahead of a Brexit vote, in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, photo by UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters

    Life After Brexit Need Not Be a Disaster for the UK

    Leaving the European Union without a deal will be costly for Britain. But there are actions that could be taken now to help improve the economic prospects of a fully independent UK.

    Mar 18, 2019 The Hill

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a business forum, Delovaya Rossiya, in Moscow, February 6, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Russia Chooses Paupers as Partners, with Questionable Benefit

    By leveraging the efficiencies of globalization and cultivating ties with prosperous partners, Russia could increase its economic potential and improve living standards for its people. And by engaging more positively with the world, it could gain influence in the forums that matter, such as the G20 and multilateral institutions.

    Feb 14, 2019 Newsweek

  • Rates of currencies are displayed at a currency exchange in Warsaw, Poland, on June 24, 2016, the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union

    Why Political Risks May Dampen World Economies in 2018

    The world economy has reached its strongest point since the global financial crisis a decade ago. But rising political risks may cloud prospects in 2018 and perhaps beyond.

    Jan 7, 2018 Fox News Channel

  • Sling load inspector checks the load plan paperwork prior to sling load operations with the 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion March 22, 2016 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany

    The Long-Term Budget Shortfall and National Security: A Problem the United States Should Stop Avoiding

    Bold promises and even actions that balance the budget for the short term should not mask the fact that the U.S. government has failed to face its long-term budget problems. Without changes, the ability to pay for many functions — including defense — will rely wholly on borrowed money.

    Nov 6, 2017 War on the Rocks

  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman (L) speaks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin (R) during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival in Moscow, Russia, October 4, 2017

    King Salman and Putin Deals Leave the U.S. Out in the Cold

    Riyadh plans to invest in Russian energy assets and possibly arms. The deals will lead to the manufacture of arms in Saudi Arabia and likely the transfer of military technology. These agreements thwart the U.S.- and EU-led sanctions regime and send an important signal to Washington.

    Oct 4, 2017 Newsweek

  • World map with global communication lines.

    The Made-in-America Global Security and Economic System Still Serves U.S. Interests

    The next U.S. president will have many willing partners and an opportunity to expand the global system of security and economic institutions in a way that will help the United States and the world for decades.

    Oct 26, 2016 The Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • 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

    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 The RAND Blog

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

    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 The RAND Blog

  • A British flag flutters in front of a window in London, Britain, June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum.

    Grasping the Brexit Moment for Free Trade

    The United Kingdom's surprising vote to exit the EU turned another tricky day into a possible social crisis. But where there is crisis, there is also opportunity, and the vote presents an opening for another step forward of global trade and investment liberalization.

    Jul 1, 2016 The National Interest

  • Danish police search an apartment block in Ishoej, Denmark, for people suspected of having been recruited by the Islamic State, April 7, 2016

    Striking Back at the Islamic State's Foreign Fighter Pipeline

    Islamic State training camps are the breeding grounds of tomorrow's Brussels or Paris attacks, and their consistent penchant for training foreigners suggests that military and security officials need to get serious about how to deal with returnees from Iraq and Syria.

    May 31, 2016 The National Interest

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Boeing in Everett, Washington, September 23, 2015

    The U.S.-China Summit Is More Significant for Xi Jinping Than Obama

    The Xi-Obama summit will provide the opportunity to discuss contentious issues like cybersecurity and the South China Sea, as well as other issues, such as climate change and economic cooperation. For Xi, the visit underscores the tremendous importance of messaging to a Chinese audience the narrative of a continued stable and robust partnership with the country that matters most to China politically and economically.

    Sep 24, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Iraqi security forces during a patrol, looking for Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Ramadi, April 9, 2015

    Iraq Is Bankrolling ISIL

    Iraq continues to fund ISIL by continuing salaries to the many Iraqi government employees who live in ISIL-controlled territory. That fact is a reminder of how poorly the country has been governed.

    May 26, 2015 Politico

  • A man purported to be ISIS captive and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh in front of armed men in a still image from an undated video filmed in an undisclosed location, made available on social media on February 3, 2015

    Experts React to ISIS's Gruesome Execution of Jordanian Pilot

    A grisly video released yesterday by ISIS appears to show Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh burned alive in a cage. Why the shift away from beheadings? What does the execution mean for Jordan? What implications will it have for ISIS?

    Feb 4, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A resident of Tabqa city on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, August 24, 2014

    To Defeat the Islamic State, Follow the Money

    ISIS, likely the world's richest terrorist organization, has bills to pay and mouths to feed. If U.S. President Obama wants to defeat them, he should follow the money.

    Sep 10, 2014 Politico

  • An Islamic State militant uses a loud-hailer to announce to residents of Tabqa city that Tabqa air base has fallen to Islamic State militants, August 24, 2014

    How ISIS Funds Its Reign of Terror

    ISIS raises much of its money just as a well-organized criminal gang would do. It smuggles, it extorts, it skims, it fences, it kidnaps and it shakes down. Although supposedly religiously inspired, its actions are more like those of an organized criminal cult.

    Sep 8, 2014 New York Daily News

  • Glimpse of bin Laden Techniques in Captured Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq

    Captured financial documents of al-Qa'ida's Iraq affiliate in Anbar Province revealed its internal operations and enabled one of the most comprehensive assessments of an al-Qa'ida linked group, write Benjamin Bahney, Renny McPherson, and Howard J. Shatz.

    May 27, 2011 RAND.org and GlobalSecurity.org

Publications