Economic Policy


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.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (center) speaks in a videoconference with the heads of the European Union in London, UK, June 15, 2020, photo by Andrew Parsons/No10 Downing Street/Reuters


    The Cost of Brexit Uncertainty

    Jul 8, 2020

    Leaving the European Union has had an overall negative economic effect on the UK economy, and there are additional economic costs associated with the uncertainty surrounding the new relationship. Will there be a deal? And if so, what type of deal is likely?

  • 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


    Economic Competition in the 21st Century

    Jul 17, 2020

    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.

Explore Economic Policy

  • Research Brief

    Developing a research evaluation framework

    Research funders, policy makers and researchers themselves need to evaluate research. This brief presents a decision tree to help develop a research evaluation framework to suit a particular purpose and context, from national down to program level.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Report

    Measuring research: A guide to research evaluation frameworks and tools

    This report provides a guide to the key considerations and trade-offs involved in developing an approach to research evaluation, based on a review of research evaluation frameworks and tools used internationally.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Euros and dollars on a flag


    Austerity and Stimulus—Two Misfires

    The experience to date strongly suggests that the reactions and behavior of private investors and consumers to stimulus in the U.S. and austerity in the EU critically affected each policy's tarnished record, writes Charles Wolf.

    May 22, 2013

  • tax form


    Tax the Nonprofits: A Modest Proposal

    Charles Wolf asks: Can the NPO sector contribute to easing the U.S. fiscal imbalance, while helping rather than hindering the dynamic free enterprise system, and retaining societal benefits provided by nonprofits?

    Mar 6, 2013

  • cracked piggy bank with U.S. flag stickers


    U.S. 'Soft Power' Abroad Is Losing Its Punch

    America's fiscal predicament and the seeming inability of its political system to resolve these matters may be taking a toll on the instruments of U.S. “soft power” and on the country's ability to shape international developments in ways that serve American interests, writes C. Richard Neu.

    Feb 8, 2013

  • Research Brief

    How Can Economic and Political Ties Between U.S. and Mexico be Strengthened? (Spanish translation)

    This study identifies areas that are negatively affecting U.S.-Mexico relations and suggests that the two countries might take a binational approach to improving their long-term partnership.

    Jan 25, 2013

  • marijuana money

    Journal Article

    Options for Collecting Revenue from Legal Marijuana

    Potential tax rates and revenues have been a common theme in discussions about legalizing marijuana. However, policy goals, types of taxes, and components of revenue are also important to consider.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Sir Harold Evans, Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, Stuart Hoffman, Nicholas Wapshott, and Edmund Phelps at RAND's Politics Aside 2012 event


    Economic Battle Royale: Infrastructure Spending vs. Austerity

    At RAND's Politics Aside event, Robert Hormats, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and environment, goes toe to toe with Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps on whether the government should spend on infrastructure to bolster the economy or cut spending.

    Dec 26, 2012

  • Uncle Sam cutting expenses


    Wanted: Balance in Defense Cuts

    Budget reductions must be applied in ways that pose the least risk to national security. We need to shrink force structure carefully, reduce or delay procurement of some weapons systems, streamline management and cut personnel costs, writes Harold Brown.

    Dec 21, 2012

  • Sir Harold Evans and Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats at RAND's Politics Aside event


    Can Austerity Fix the Economy?

    At RAND's Politics Aside event, Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans moderates a discussion on whether the government should slash or boost spending to try to bolster the economy that includes Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps and Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats.

    Dec 11, 2012

  • RAND president and CEO Michael Rich and Ret. Gen. Peter Chiarelli at RAND's Politics Aside event


    Retired General Fears Unbalanced Military Budget Cuts

    During a discussion with RAND president and CEO Michael Rich at RAND's Politics Aside event, Ret. Gen. Peter Chiarelli says budget cuts could strike the military unevenly, hurting vital programs.

    Dec 7, 2012

  • South Carolina Guard Soldiers keep sharp during Kuwait deployment


    Bad Stats Skew Defense Needs

    The urgency with which the fiscal cliff question must be addressed should not excuse faulty calculations when it comes to the U.S. military's operational and personnel needs, write Tim Bonds and Lauren Skrabala.

    Dec 7, 2012

  • Research Brief

    How Can Economic and Political Ties Between the United States and Mexico Be Strengthened?

    This study identifies areas that are negatively affecting U.S.-Mexico relations and suggests that the two countries might take a binational approach to improving their long-term partnership.

    Nov 27, 2012

  • Pittsburgh city in Fall colors


    RAND's Pittsburgh Director Is Keynote Speaker at INVESTPennsylvania Conference

    Susan Everingham, director of RAND's Pittsburgh office, will be the opening speaker at the inaugural INVESTPennsylvania Equity Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Thursday, Dec. 6.

    Nov 14, 2012

  • RAND app ad


    RAND App Brings Objective Policy Analysis to Your iPhone

    RAND's new iPhone/iPad/iPod app is available for download in the app store.

    Nov 2, 2012

  • "We are the 99%. We are the one" sign held at Occupy Wall Street on 10/09/2011


    What Drives Income Inequality?

    The mixed picture of income inequality around the world reinforces the point that it is more important to know the underlying explanations for inequality across countries and within them, rather than the amount of inequality or changes in it, write Charles Wolf, Jr., and John Godges.

    Oct 24, 2012

  • Map showing border between United States and Mexico


    United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

    This binational reference for U.S. and Mexican policymakers presents the interrelated issues of Mexican immigration to the United States and Mexico's economic and social development.

    Apr 11, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Book Review: "Why Nations Fail," by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

    The author reviews Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.

    Apr 1, 2012

  • gavel and scales of justice


    How Did the Financial Crisis Affect the U.S. Civil Justice System?

    A preliminary assessment of the impact of the financial crisis on the civil justice system finds that litigation demands on some parts of the system have increased, that funding for state courts may be trending downward, and that there have been disruptions in the legal services economy, in the provision of legal aid, and in the operation and staffing of courts.

    Mar 5, 2012

  • Hand drawing an upward graph and arrow to pound currency symbol, photo by fatido/Getty Images


    Is Publicly Funded R&D Investment the Best Way Out of the European Financial Crisis?

    Publicly funded R&D investment is a coherent policy to support long term economic growth. Our only note of caution is about how far and how fast that growth can be delivered because the evidence we have is out of date and skewed towards the experience of just one country, write Jonathan Grant and Jon Sussex.

    Nov 29, 2011