RAND Work on International Development

A Brief Overview

by Charles Wolf, Jr.

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Description of RAND research in the field of political and economic development. RAND staff members in diverse disciplines have been active in development research for 12 years, concentrating on Colombia, Turkey, Laos, Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines. Primary objectives of the program are to apply systems analysis to the problems of less developed countries (LDCs) and to relate new technology to LDC economic capabilities. Principal studies include (1) planning and economic aid, where RAND developed a method to permit comparability of different kinds of aid; (2) political and socioeconomic change, which raised important questions about the effectiveness of land reform in curbing rebellion; (3) economic structure and growth, which suggested that technological transfer is more important to development than larger inputs of capital and labor; and (4) population growth, which indicated that financial incentives might be more effective than gadgetry and reproductive biology in family planning programs. RAND hopes to continue and expand this work, which has domestic as well as international payoffs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.