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.

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

    Commentary

    Job Training Is More Effective When All Parties 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 citizens with middle-class lifestyles, educators, government, and private industry need to work together to shape training opportunities.

    Jul 6, 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

Explore Economic Development

  • 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

    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.

    Mar 18, 2021

  • Report

    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

  • 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

    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.

    Feb 23, 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

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

    Commentary

    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

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    Report

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Puerto Rico Economy: A Review of Evidence and Options Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017

    The authors review Puerto Rico's economic history and provide analysis following the 2017 hurricane season that serves as the context for a set of principles and actions in the recovery plan for rebuilding a healthy economy.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Supporting a 21st Century Workforce in Puerto Rico: Challenges and Options for Improving Puerto Rico's Workforce System Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017

    A workforce development system that supports Puerto Rico's economic development requires a K through postsecondary education system that emphasizes individuals' career pathways and aligns training with the evolving labor market and business needs.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • People line up outside a career center, hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claims, Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is the U.S. Stuck with a Fixed Add-On for Unemployment?

    When COVID-19 led to millions of Americans losing their jobs, Congress moved to increase unemployment benefits by $600 a week. What should happen when those extra benefits expire?

    Jul 23, 2020

  • Street sign with Wall St. and Main St. signs, photo by BobHemphill/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Tale of Two Americas

    Economic pain in the United States is obvious and palpable everywhere except in the stock market. This spotlights inequality that has been increasing for decades. Undoing disparities will require firm policy commitment over many years.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • A compilation of signs on doors of temporarily closed restaurants and shops in central Maastricht, Netherlands, March 16, 2020, photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters

    Commentary

    Small Businesses Need the Right Kind of Help to Survive COVID-19

    Small and medium-sized companies are less equipped than large ones to weather the devastating effects of the pandemic. What could policymakers do to help these businesses get the help they need?

    Jun 26, 2020

  • 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

    Commentary

    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

  • People stacking hands together in the park, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Elinor Ostrom Teaches Us About Avoiding the 'Tragedy of the Commons' in Delivering the Public Interest in the Post COVID-19 World

    The public interest can be an elusive concept, especially when trying to distinguish between shared and individual interests, a problem brought into sharper focus as we try to find the right path to a post COVID-19 world. Governments are seeking to do the best for their societies with limited information. As more data is being acquired, how can public policy achieve common interest?

    Jun 22, 2020

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping raises his glass and proposes a toast at the end of his speech during the welcome banquet, after the welcome ceremony of leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 26, 2019, photo by Nicolas Asfour/Reuters

    Journal Article

    What China Wants in South Asia

    This brief outlines the issues facing different South Asian countries with respect to their relationships with China.

    Jun 12, 2020