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This paper is a first step in rethinking the ways in which organizations carry out mathematical modeling and policy analysis. Presenting a paradigm for analyzing policy research environments, the authors graphically depict ways modeling efforts interact with research activities. They describe the key problems affecting quality in modeling and show how the solution to these problems must come from an organization's most important resource--its people. An appendix detailing the responsibilities of each staff member on a policy analysis project is included.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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