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

    Jul 6, 2021

    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.

  • 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

    Jul 20, 2021

    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.

Explore Economic Development

  • Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and China's Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on August 26, 2014. Officials say Mugabe is seeking funds to rebuild decaying roads, rail and power facilities, and to help mechanise Zimbabwe's agriculture.

    Blog

    RAND Experts Discuss Chinese Engagement in Africa

    Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris discussed their recent report, Chinese Engagement in Africa, as part of RAND's China Luncheon Series. They took a comprehensive look at Chinese and African objectives in the political and economic spheres and the means by which they work to achieve their goals.

    Oct 14, 2014

  • Pardee RAND doctoral candidates Nelly Mejia and Crystal Huang with RAND senior economist Peter Glick

    Announcement

    RAND Joins Coalition to Tackle Youth Unemployment

    The RAND Corporation has joined the World Bank and other corporate and civil society leaders to establish Solutions for Youth Employment, a global coalition that acts to address the pervasive challenges of youth employment.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • Top row: Howard Shatz and Jeffrey Hiday; Bottom row: Sarah Weilant, Krishna Kumar, and Peter Glick

    Announcement

    RAND Joins Coalition to Tackle Youth Unemployment

    The RAND Corporation has joined the World Bank and other corporate and civil society leaders to establish Solutions for Youth Employment, a global coalition that acts to address the pervasive challenges of youth employment.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • black doctor and microscope

    Project

    Exploring the Current State of Health Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

    While funding is the key problem, clinical researchers seeking to combat infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa cite the lack of policymaker understanding of the importance of their work as a major barrier, above lack of human resources and lack of infrastructure.

    Sep 19, 2014

  • Protestors demonstrate against a lack of housing outside provincial government buildings in central Cape Town, October 30, 2013

    Commentary

    How the Poor Can Take Charge to Improve Their Housing

    Public housing projects have been controversial for decades in countries around the world. But an informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa, could serve as a guide for other countries experimenting with community-driven development, an alternative approach to public housing.

    Sep 19, 2014

  • A girl is tested for malaria at an MSF clinic in Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba, South Sudan

    Commentary

    Probing the Barriers to Conducting Clinical Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Developing clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa requires a more holistic approach that considers not only individuals and institutions concerned with clinical research but also the wider health and research systems in these countries.

    Sep 19, 2014

  • South African men create a sandbag building for EcoSteps

    Commentary

    Could Alternatives Ease the Misery of South Africa's Housing Crisis?

    The government's plan to replace cardboard shacks with cement houses may not be the only route to easing South Africa's housing woes. Increasingly, academic researchers, non-governmental organizations, and private companies are demonstrating pragmatic, low-cost, alternatives.

    Jul 10, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Aid Under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict

    We estimate the causal effect of a large development program on conflict in the Philippines through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary poverty threshold used to assign eligibility for the program.

    Jun 1, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Designing a System for Collecting Policy-Relevant Data for the Kurdistan Region — Iraq: Arabic-language version

    Surveys the availability of reliable policy-relevant data in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq, identifies the high-priority areas for which more data are required, and develops guidance for a system to collect and disseminate these data on an ongoing basis.

    May 23, 2014

  • Photo of South African shanty town

    Commentary

    In South Africa, Hard Choices on Housing

    South Africans go to the polls today, marking 20 years since apartheid ended and the country's first democratic elections brought the African National Congress (ANC) to power. But while much has changed, many challenges remain, including the developing nation's dire need for housing.

    May 7, 2014

  • Binary code and laptops

    Report

    Designing a System for Collecting Policy-Relevant Data for the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

    Surveys the availability of reliable policy-relevant data in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq, identifies the high-priority areas for which more data are required, and develops guidance for a system to collect and disseminate these data on an ongoing basis.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Report

    Strategies for Private-Sector Development and Civil-Service Reform in the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

    Strategies for Private-Sector Development and Civil-Service Reform in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq

    Apr 14, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Using Repeated Cross-Sections to Explore Movements Into and Out of Poverty

    In this paper we build on the methodology used to construct poverty maps to show how repeated cross-sections of household survey data can allow inferences to be made about movements in and out of poverty.

    Mar 1, 2014

  • Power lines stretch across rural Turkey, where the World Bank has renewable energy and energy efficiency projects

    Commentary

    Making Informed Investment Decisions in an Uncertain World

    Changing how we make development decisions requires a cultural shift as much as it requires an analytical shift. Methodological innovations like Robust Decision Making can help. By motivating and equipping analysts to manage uncertainty, they can shape how we think about, discuss, and make decisions.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • pie chart illustration over a world map

    Commentary

    Happy 80th Birthday, 'GDP' — Is It Not Time to Retire?

    While there are merits to using GDP, it is clear that it fails to measure several important potential externalities to economic growth, such as environmental damage, poor working conditions, or violations of privacy rights.

    Feb 6, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Inclusive Innovation: An Architecture for Policy Development

    Inclusive innovation needs to be understood and developed in the context of a holistic conception of the innovation cycle, the distinction between process and product innovation and the roles played by the poor as both producers and consumer.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth: Implications for Pittsburgh

    This report assesses what evidence exists for the ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth and how those effects might be relevant to the Pittsburgh region.

    Dec 20, 2013

  • Artist's rendering of Knowledge City, Guangzhou, China

    Dissertation

    The Role of Economic Development Zones in National Development Strategies: The Case of China

    Based on a systematic review of the historical data and policies for economic development zones in China, this dissertation creates a unique classification system for the development path of these zones and identified four distinct phases.

    Oct 18, 2013

  • Men travel in a boat across the Yangon river

    Commentary

    U.S. Sanctions Against Myanmar Need to Go

    Washington now has to ask itself whether its goals can best be met with these restrictions in place or whether it is time to recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place in Myanmar and forge a new relationship with its leaders based on full government-to-government relations, writes Peter Chalk.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • Blog

    For Pardee RAND Graduate School, a $3.6 Million Gift

    Frederick S. Pardee, a former RAND researcher, contributed $3.6 million to support the Pardee RAND Graduate School and to create its Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress. His generous gift will seed projects that help those in developing countries.

    Sep 4, 2013