Economic Policy

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Economic policies are the end results of economic planning: the decisions governments make to influence the production, consumption, and sharing of wealth. RAND research has explored economic policies from the local to the international level, including their effects on international trade and foreign relations, their relation to policies focusing on public health and the environment, and their impact on economic growth and recessions.

  • Commentary

    Will States Take the Wrong Lesson About Unemployment Insurance's Failings?

    By shoring up all state-run Unemployment Insurance programs equally, Congress set a precedent that it will intervene to raise benefits at no cost to state trust funds. From the states' perspective, why hike taxes on businesses to maintain robust unemployment benefits if Congress will step in when the economy goes south?

    Mar 18, 2021

  • 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

Explore Economic Policy

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, March 2, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Report

    How Does North Korean Leadership Make Decisions?

    With talks between the United States and North Korea at a standstill, U.S. policymakers must consider what the regime might do next and know what signs or decisions to look for. Will Kim open the DPRK economy? What if conventional deterrence fails on the Korean Peninsula? And what could lead to the use of nuclear weapons?

    Aug 20, 2020

  • U.S. dollars and other currencies lie in a charity receptacle at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada, June 13, 2018, photo by Chris Helgren/Reuters

    Report

    Economic Competition in the 21st Century

    One can think of economic competition in two broad ways. The first is competition as an outcome: the ability to boost standards of living through domestic policies. The second is competition as an action, where economic policies also pursue geopolitical goals.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • The Unequal Nature of Damage from COVID-19

    Multimedia

    The Unequal Nature of the Damage from COVID-19

    Shanthi Nataraj, senior economist with the RAND Corporation, explains which communities and businesses have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Jul 7, 2020

  • When Should We Stop Social Distancing?

    Multimedia

    When Should We Stop Social Distancing?

    RAND's Jeanne Ringel describes a new decisionmaking tool that models the effect of non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 interventions on health and economic outcomes.

    Jun 24, 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

  • Tables are marked off at J. Christopher's restaurant that now offers dine-in service on April 27, 2020 in Decatur, Georgia.

    Multimedia

    The Health and Economic Tradeoffs of Reopening America

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND researchers consider the health and economic effects of relaxing social distancing restrictions.

    May 1, 2020

  • Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Detroit, Michigan, March 18, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing

    There are significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties with physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19. We have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.

    Apr 28, 2020

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 news conference at the Javits Center, New York City, March 27, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Q&A

    Who Calls the Shots During a Pandemic, the U.S. Government or States? Q&A with RAND Experts

    The tension between the federal government and state and local authorities has highlighted a fundamental challenge of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic: Who's in charge?

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

    Multimedia

    Who Has Jurisdiction Over a Pandemic, the U.S. Government or States?

    RAND experts discuss the recent buildup of tensions between the federal government and state and local authorities. When it comes to planning for and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, who's in charge?

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Temporary closed signage is seen at a store in Manhattan following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Danger of Converting a Health Crisis into a Financial Crisis

    The impulse to do something to help businesses right now is well-intended, but lending to companies that were highly leveraged pre-crisis is a risky bet. Assistance could be best directed toward sound enterprises that are likely to survive and contribute to boosting the economy in the coming years.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • People wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of COVID-19 at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 6, 2020, photo by Nick Oxford/Reuters

    Commentary

    Millions Need Unemployment Benefits. Unfortunately, the Delivery System Is Broken

    More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in March as businesses closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington's stimulus package enacted welcome measures to tide people over, but these temporary fixes don't address some serious structural problems.

    Apr 6, 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

  • 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

  • NYSE Closes Trading Floor, Moves To Fully Electronic Trading Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    Multimedia

    The Economic Impacts of COVID-19

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND researchers discuss the impacts the COVID-19 outbreak might have on the global economy and consider policy actions that could be taken to help facilitate rapid economic recovery.

    Mar 23, 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

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Estimating the Economic Benefits of Levant Integration: A Look at the Numbers

    This infographic helps users assess values of economic integration in the Levant in a variety of ways.

    Feb 24, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Relationships between the economy and national security: Analysis and considerations for economic security policy in the Netherlands

    This study examines the relationship between the economy and national security in the Netherlands, with a focus on the characteristics and performance of the Dutch economy and the consequences of this for its national security.

    Jan 14, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    E-Cigarettes, 'Stand Your Ground,' Cyber Coercion: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the planned federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes, “stand your ground” laws, understanding cyber coercion, and more.

    Sep 20, 2019

  • Loading cargo onto a container ship in Istanbul, Turkey, photo by Czgur/Getty Images

    Report

    Potential Benefits of Economic Integration in the Levant

    A comprehensive free trade agreement among six of the core Levant nations—Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey—could increase their average gross domestic product by 3 to 7 percent. It could also reduce regional unemployment rates by 8 to 18 percent.

    Sep 16, 2019