Refugees, Brexit, Cannabis: RAND Weekly Recap

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December 14, 2018

This week, we discuss Syrian refugees' role in Middle East labor markets; what happens if Britain leaves the EU without a deal; how much influence teachers have in schools; preventing bad behavior at soccer matches; marijuana legalization; and countering violent extremism online.

Two workers in a factory in Jordan, October 2018

Two workers in a factory in Jordan, October 2018

Photo by Abdel Hameed Al Nasier/ILO

Syrian Refugees Can Add Value to Local Economies

Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon are active contributors to the local economies. To add even more value, they need better training and opportunities. That's according to a new RAND report. Findings show that refugees could better contribute to local labor markets if they were trained for middle-skill jobs. It would also be beneficial if Syrians could relocate to areas with manufacturing firms in need of workers.

British Prime Minister Theresa May meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss Brexit, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 11, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, Belgium, December 11, 2018

Photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

A Better Brexit Deal Is Unlikely

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived her party's no-confidence vote Wednesday. But the fate of the Brexit deal she has negotiated with other European leaders remains unclear. Even if negotiations were to resume, a better agreement probably isn't possible, says RAND's Charles Ries. And leaving Europe without a deal would produce the highest economic costs of all—not to mention chaos at the Irish border. More broadly, the resulting economic upheaval could risk the stability and strength of the West, says Ries.

Teachers standing in hallway filled with students

Photo by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

How Much Influence Do Teachers Have?

How much influence do teachers have in their schools? It depends who you ask, according to a new RAND survey. Ninety-six percent of principals said that teachers are involved in important school decisions. But only 58 percent of teachers agreed. Such gaps between teachers and school leaders signal a disconnect that may foster professional stagnation and frustration.

Germany's Lukas Podolski scores past Poland's goalkeeper Artur Boruc at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria, June 8, 2008

Germany's Lukas Podolski scores past Poland's goalkeeper Artur Boruc at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria, June 8, 2008

Photo by Michael Dalde/Reuters

Strategies to Reduce Bad Behavior at Soccer Matches

Qatar is gearing up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. To help officials prepare, RAND Europe is examining why fans sometimes engage in violent or antisocial behavior at soccer matches. There is no single cause for such behavior. But there are a few tactics that have proven effective in preventing it. These include using security cameras, mandatory transport arrangements for visiting fans, and early kickoff times.

Marijuana buds and their degree of potency are shown in a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California, June 30, 2010

Marijuana buds and their degree of potency are shown in a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California, June 30, 2010

Photo by Robert Galbraith/Reuters

For most commodities, good policy means bringing consumers the lowest price. But that's not the case with legal cannabis, says RAND's Beau Kilmer. Low prices could have undesirable effects on both the market and heavy users. Setting minimum prices—like many states do with tobacco and alcohol—or a tax based on THC content could help.

Man using a laptop in a dark room

Photo by Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images

Countering Violent Extremism Online

Online campaigns to counter violent extremism are growing. But are they working? A new RAND study finds that success is difficult to measure. A more data-driven and experimental approach is needed to assess real impact. Better understanding the effectiveness of these campaigns, it can help to address escalating radicalization and extremist recruitment on social media.

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