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

  • As phase one of reopening begins in Northern Virginia, a waitress with a face mask serves diners at a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, May 29, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Wealth Gap Widens

    Whether history considers the current downturn a recession or a depression, it will reinforce the growing inequality in the United States. Navigating this crisis without substantially increasing inequality would require an unwavering commitment to support displaced workers and small-business owners.

    Jun 1, 2020

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Miami Beach, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Commentary

    38 Million Have Applied for Unemployment. But How Many Have Received Benefits?

    Unemployment Insurance may need substantial reform to its application process, but it has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment disaster. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the new program intended for workers who are not part of the employer tax base, has not.

    Jun 1, 2020

  • Polygonal image of COVID-19 virus superimposed on a digital world map, photo by Andrii Pokliatskyi/Getty Images

    Blog

    Global Challenges to Maintaining a Healthy Workforce During a Pandemic: Views from RAND Experts

    As nations across the globe remain in lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions about the future of employment and workforce productivity emerge. During a recent webinar, RAND experts discussed how to get people back to work and improve productivity post COVID-19.

    May 15, 2020

  • Women work on a production line at a mobile phone factory in Assuit, Egypt, September 30, 2018, photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

    Commentary

    Economic Recovery in Egypt Should Include Women

    Despite tremendous strides in educational attainment, women's engagement in the labor force in Egypt remains limited. Will Egypt's post-pandemic recovery further exacerbate structural barriers and inequities? Or could the current economic crisis be an opportunity to develop new opportunities to employ women and foster conditions for a more inclusive and diversified labor force?

    May 11, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto during their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, August 22, 2018, photo by Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Russia Struggles to Feed Its Great-Power Addiction

    Russia has become less cooperative and pursued more autarky in recent years. If Moscow continues on a path of resisting globalization, it could be left behind.

    May 11, 2020

  • ODF 2017, NSF, USAP, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Cargo Operations

    Report

    Global Economic Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force

    This volume of the Future of Warfare series examines economic trends that could affect U.S. national security, including pressure on the global trading system, the rise of China, searches for new resources, and the decreasing power of U.S. sanctions.

    May 11, 2020

  • Protesters calling for rent payments to be canceled amid the outbreak of COVID-19, in Washington, D.C., April 25, 2020, photo by Erin Scott/Reuters

    Commentary

    Coronavirus and the Looming Crisis in Rental Housing

    Housing security is vital to individual and collective well-being. It's also a key component in the nation's economic performance. The looming coronavirus eviction crisis suggests the need to address the systemic problem of housing affordability and security now.

    Apr 30, 2020

  • Residents carry boxes of free groceries distributed at a pop-up food pantry by the Massachusetts Army National Guard in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 24, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Second Wave of COVID Consequences

    Economists closely watch measures of consumer confidence because they are highly predictive economic indicators. New consumer data reveals likely long-term and prolonged economic fallout.

    Apr 24, 2020

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Commentary

    Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. National Security

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic effect on economies across the globe. But the Middle East may be particularly affected, given the simultaneous fall in oil prices. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

    Apr 1, 2020

  • The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort passes the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor during the COVID-19 outbreak, March 30, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    After COVID-19: America Needs to Reengage with the World, Not Retreat

    The COVID-19 pandemic should lead to a further strengthening of the national and international response capacity. The alternative of erecting barriers and closing America off to the world would leave it more vulnerable to the next big shock.

    Apr 1, 2020

  • People walk around an almost empty Grand Central Terminal as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2020, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Commentary

    On the Horns of the COVID-19 Dilemma

    COVID-19 poses two dire threats to the United States: the potential deaths of many thousands of Americans, and the devastation of the $22 trillion annual economy. Protecting the health of as many people as possible by shutting down ordinary life seems completely justifiable, but that necessarily inflicts damage to the economy. This is truly a dilemma.

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID-19 and the Economy, America's Blood Supply, 10 Years of the ACA: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19 and the economy, strengthening the U.S. blood supply, 10 years of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

    Mar 27, 2020

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer meet with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation, Washington, D.C., March 20, 2020, photo by Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

    Q&A

    The Economic Wallop of COVID-19: Q&A with RAND Experts

    As Washington continues to weigh economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are insights from RAND experts on how aid money might be best allocated, how this crisis compares to the 2008 recession, what business communities can do right now, and more.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with public members in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2020, photo by Alexei Druzhinin/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Ties with the West Rhyme

    With Vladimir Putin seeking constitutional changes that could allow him to stay as president until the 2030s, Russia's strained relations with the West may persist. But if it chooses, Russia can chart a more dynamic future with closer Western ties.

    Mar 23, 2020

  • Blog

    Experts Discuss COVID-19: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19, how the United States is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the spread of misinformation during this time, and more.

    Mar 20, 2020

  • A man wears a mask while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Q&A

    The Social Distancing Economy: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from RAND experts on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.

    Mar 18, 2020

  • A woman holding a baby looks out of a window from a shanty in Dharavi, Mumbai, India, October 15, 2009, photo by Arko Datta/Reuters

    Commentary

    Economic Development: A Recipe for Social Cohesion in India

    Given the staggering economic challenges that need attention, how might India refocus its attention away from sectarian divides to economic development? While there is no easy answer, focusing on inclusive growth and development might offer one potential route.

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Flags of the United States, Russia, and China in the sky, photo by Pridannikov/Getty Images

    Report

    How Is the Global Competition of Ideas Changing?

    The United States is engaged in a new era of great-power competition in the realms of information, ideas, and ideology. An analysis of the policy and actions of China, Russia, and nonstate actors suggests what this competition might look like in the future and how U.S. policy should be adapted accordingly.

    Mar 12, 2020

  • Cars on a Belt and Road Initiative highway, Almaty, Kazakhstan, June 16, 2017, photo by Kim Vermaat/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Belt and Road: Economic Gain Is Possible for All

    China's true motivations for its Belt and Road Initiative may still be unclear. But the West could consider the initiative's potential to deliver sustained economic, social, and environmental benefits for all, and find ways to support infrastructure improvements in the countries involved.

    Jan 30, 2020

  • Hands holding up a globe, photo by RapidEye/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Economic Experiments for Global Impact

    Implementing effective solutions for global socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation is a daunting challenge. However, RAND has seen over its decades of work in this area that data-based decisions can improve the welfare of the world's most vulnerable populations.

    Oct 23, 2019