Economic Development

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Economic development includes a host of issues—including energy supply; technology; and access to jobs, food, water, education, health care, and housing—that are fundamental to improving the economic status of communities and transforming impoverished nations. RAND takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating opportunities for economic development, modeling future trends, and applying objective analysis to recommend policy solutions for global, national, and local economies.

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in Washington, September 15, 2020, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Report

    The Abraham Accords Could Have Wide-Reaching Economic Benefits

    Mar 18, 2021

    The Abraham Accords between Israel and Muslim nations represent a possible new chapter in the region's development—away from conflict and toward a shared vision of economic prosperity. Israel's partners could gain 150,000 new jobs. And that could grow to 4 million new jobs over a decade if other nations join.

  • Figure looks down on another figure from a higher stack of blocks, photo by francescoch/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Shared Prosperity: The Crying Need for Inclusive Globalization

    Feb 23, 2021

    The disaffection of a wide swath of the American population has been linked to the political polarization of the country, as well as its divisive tendencies. While globalization is not the only reason for this disaffection, it is an apt lens through which to view the revolt against elitism, expertise, and changing demographics.

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  • Raw opium from a poppy head is seen at a farmer's field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 28, 2015, photo by Parwiz/Reuters

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    Afghanistan in the Era of Fentanyl

    Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are displacing heroin in some major drug markets. What might happen to Afghanistan—the world's largest producer of illegal opium poppy—if demand for its opiates dropped off sharply and permanently?

    Jul 26, 2021

  • Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other Taliban delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia, March 18, 2021, photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

    The upcoming U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will remove the most formidable obstacle to total Taliban takeover of the country. China is set to benefit significantly if the Taliban come to power again. It is worth following this dynamic closely in the coming weeks and months.

    Jul 22, 2021

  • A member of the Armed Forces receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine obtained under the COVAX program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 15, 2021, photo by Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

    Commentary

    Split-Screen Pandemic Recovery Isn't Sustainable

    In a world connected by commerce and the air we breathe, it's hard to see how any COVID-19 recovery that's confined to specific segments of the population is sustainable. Failing to address gaps in the pandemic response would run the risk that a future mutation of this virus could send us scurrying for cover. Again.

    Jul 20, 2021

  • Workers inspecting machinery in a factory, photo by Yozayo/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Job Training Is More Effective When Educators, Government, and Industry Work Together

    The United States is facing economic gaps wider than have been seen in a century. To keep the nation economically strong and able to provide middle-class lifestyles to its citizens, educators, government, and private industry need to work together to shape training opportunities.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • People take part in the celebrations for the National Liberation Day near the Arch of Reunification in the city of Pyongyang, North Korea, August 14, 2005, photo by Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

    Commentary

    An Economic Blueprint for North Korea

    It would be simplistic to think that developing detailed blueprints for economic development in North Korea could on its own cut through decades of conflict and mistrust, triggering political and economic reform. But by expanding the terms of the debate it might move the needle on peace.

    Jun 4, 2021

  • People take part in the celebrations for the National Liberation Day near the Arch of Reunification in the city of Pyongyang, North Korea, August 14, 2005, photo by Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

    Report

    From Hermit Kingdom to Open for Business

    When the situation in North Korea becomes conducive to foreign investment and development, what might it take to kick-start the country's economy?

    May 25, 2021

  • A recruit from the presidential regiment waits for a ceremony to take the oath at a military base in Kiev, Ukraine, November 16, 2013, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    How America Can Help Re-Shape the Post-Soviet Countries

    For the post-Soviet states, development could bring better living standards and social conditions and promote more stable politics and inclusive governance. The West would make the most difference by focusing on mid-ranked states, especially those undertaking reforms.

    May 17, 2021

  • President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan with Vice President Kamala Harris looking on, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 11, 2021, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden's Child Tax Credit Will Bring Lifetime of Improvement

    The American Rescue Plan is expected to cut child poverty in the United States by more than 40 percent. The benefits are important to families today and could be compounded over the hundred years these children are expected to live.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • Blog

    Game Theory to Help the Vaccine Rollout, Abraham Accords, Telehealth: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how game theory can help the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, potential economic benefits of the Abraham Accords, telemedicine use during the pandemic, and more.

    Mar 19, 2021

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    Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume 1: Alabama Through Minnesota; 2nd Edition

    This appendix to the second edition of The Army's Local Economic Effects describes overall economic effects by state, details by fiscal year from 2014 to 2017, and a parsing of data by congressional district for Alabama through Minnesota.

    Mar 8, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume 2: Mississippi Through Wyoming; 2nd Edition

    This appendix to the second edition of The Army's Local Economic Effects describes overall economic effects by state, details by fiscal year from 2014 to 2017, and a parsing of data by congressional district for Mississippi through Wyoming.

    Mar 8, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: 2nd Edition

    This report updates a previous report with findings on the economic activity supported by national-level Army spending in each of the 435 congressional districts for fiscal years 2014 through 2017.

    Mar 8, 2021

  • A woman stands on a ruined building after Hurricane Eta, in Wawa Bar, a Miskito indigenous community in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, November 23, 2020, photo by Katlyn Holland/CRS /Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Lessons for Central America's Recovery from Hurricanes

    As the global community works to assist Central America in recovering from the disastrous 2020 hurricane season, other recent recovery efforts offer helpful lessons, both for the governments of the region as well as outsiders providing resources and support.

    Jan 11, 2021

  • A consignment of USAID medical equipment is offloaded at the Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, August 24, 2014, photo by James Giahyue/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why We 'Send Them Money'

    Why does the United States send foreign countries American taxpayer money? The answer, in short, is because it serves U.S. self-interest to do so. Aid is not some act of charity at the American taxpayers' expense; it can help keep Americans safer, more prosperous, and secure.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and China's Premier Li Keqiang shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China July 4, 2019, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    China Isn't Backing Down in South Asia

    Much to India's frustration, China's influence is on the rise across South Asia. India will probably have to work overtime, and in concert with like-minded partners such as Australia, Japan, and the United States to complicate and rein in China's successes in the region.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • People walk near India Gate on a smoggy afternoon in New Delhi, India, November 15, 2020, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Curb Climate Change After COVID-19? Fast-Growing India and Brazil Are Key

    India and Brazil are facing pressure to launch recoveries after the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Will they backslide on their Paris climate agreement commitments, or will the expected return of the United States to the pact encourage them to build a more sustainable economic future?

    Dec 15, 2020

  • Empty Wallet

    Multimedia

    Income Distribution in the United States: How It’s Changed Since the 1970s

    RAND senior mathematician Carter Price describes how income distribution and the sharing of economic growth has changed since the 1970s.

    Nov 11, 2020

  • Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith (L) and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi following a meeting in Beijing, China, August 3, 2016, photo by Rolex Dela Pena/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vietnam Is Losing Its Best Friends to China

    The wide range of Chinese activities with Cambodia and Laos must be jarring for Vietnamese leaders. China has eclipsed Vietnam in Indochina, and that means that Hanoi's angst will only continue to rise in its own backyard. Vietnam will likely have to find alternative means of engaging Cambodia and Laos to combat Chinese influence in this critical region in the years to come.

    Nov 2, 2020