Economics

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Economics is a discipline concerned with the consumption, production, and transfer of wealth by and among individuals (microeconomics) and communities or nations (macroeconomics); subspecialties range from economic development and planning to health economics and international economic relations. RAND's many economists contribute to multidisciplinary research projects by exploring the intersections where economics informs social, military, and governmental policy decisions.

  • Commentary

    The Global Movement Against China's Economic Coercion Is Accelerating

    There is much the West can do to push back against Chinese economic pressure, and many reasons to do so. Doing so is a core interest of the United States, which now places itself in competition with China over the shape of the international order.

    Jun 9, 2023

  • Essay

    Insomnia: The Multibillion-Dollar Problem Sapping World Productivity

    From the doctor's office to the office at work, good sleep is often overlooked as a key part of well-being. We pay for that. Chronic insomnia is associated with an average loss in workplace productivity of 45–54 days, resulting in estimated annual losses in GDP of more than $200 billion.

    Sep 8, 2023

Explore Economics

  • Artisanal miners sit outside a cobalt mine-pit in Tulwizembe, Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 25, 2015, photo by Kenny Katombe/Reuters

    Commentary

    In the Congo: Applying Research to Issues of Poverty and Servitude

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo faces a series of seemingly intractable issues that have left much of its population in poverty and servitude to multinational mining interests. International engagement and research could help.

    Apr 17, 2024

  • The burnt-out Crocus City Hall following a deadly attack on the concert venue outside Moscow, Russia, March 29, 2024, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Moscow Terror Attack Shows the Limits of the Russia-Iran Partnership

    Growing military and economic ties between Russia and Iran pose a threat to U.S. and Western interests. But their relationship remains largely transactional. The Ukraine war has incentivized them to paper over their disputes for now, but has not erased significant differences which make it more difficult for Moscow and Tehran to forge a true strategic partnership.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • Closeup of people wearing suits putting their hands together on top of a digital globe, photo by GIANT7/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Potential of Smart Treaties

    Blockchain technology presents numerous opportunities for the development of trade and commerce. One particularly interesting opportunity is smart contracts, an application that could have broad geopolitical implications if applied to treaties.

    Apr 8, 2024

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Amur Oblast of the Far East Region, Russia, September 13, 2023, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Putin's Embrace of Kim Jong-un Has Its Limits

    The current trajectory of North Korea–Russia relations is certainly unfavorable for the United States and its allies because it essentially gives the two nations greater wiggle room to continue their bad behavior. But all is not necessarily lost. The strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea is unlikely to be decisive for either side.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: UKE0012 The UK's Economic Security

    Economic security is increasingly recognised as a key element of national security. This response examines the need to clearly define economic security, how to strengthen HMG’s approach and the opportunities offered by international cooperation.

    Mar 13, 2024

  • Freight cars with containers are loaded onto a ferry ship to be transported across the Caspian Sea, in Kuryk, Kazakhstan, June 22, 2023, photo by Jens Büttner/dpa via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    The Middle Corridor: A Renaissance in Global Commerce

    The Middle Corridor's journey toward becoming a viable alternative to existing trade routes will be met with tough challenges. But with renewed international investment and cooperation, it could emerge as a cornerstone of 21st-century trade connectivity.

    Mar 12, 2024

  • U.S President Joe Biden says goodbye to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the APEC meeting in San Francisco, California, November 18, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Would Nations with Incentives to Avoid War Fail to Do So?

    It's tempting to think that interdependence between the United States and China has reached a level in which armed conflict between them is unthinkable. Unfortunately, history gives us little reason to be confident that peace is inevitable simply because the degree of interdependence is strong.

    Feb 23, 2024

  • PayPal logo displayed on a smartphone in front of a Stablecoin logo on a screen in Brussels, Belgium, August 8, 2023, photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto/Reuters

    Commentary

    Corporate Crypto: Worth Taking Seriously?

    As multinational corporations explore corporate crypto, anticipating its future evolution is rife with uncertainty. Nonetheless, given corporate crypto's disruptive potential, it is crucial to consider the policy implications of this emerging technology.

    Feb 16, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Emerging Technology and Risk Analysis: Additive Manufacturing

    Additive manufacturing is increasingly important for licit and illicit uses. This report focuses on illicit commercial use, particularly counterfeiting, because of its potentially significant effects on economic prosperity and national security.

    Feb 15, 2024

  • A container ship passes an oil platform at the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, outside of Cairo, Egypt September 1, 2020, photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

    Commentary

    Middle East–China Trade Prospects Remain Robust Despite Red Sea Crisis

    Disruptions to shipping through the Red Sea and Suez Canal are likely to have only modest effects on Chinese goods trade with most of the Middle East but could lead to significant costs for China's global trade.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2023, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Good and the Bad for Biden in Southeast Asia

    Since entering office in 2021, one of the Biden administration's foreign-policy priorities has been a more effective Indo-Pacific strategy to compete with China, especially in Southeast Asia. Three years on, the administration's policy has bright spots, but still lacks a clear strategy for the region.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The End of China's Period of Strategic Opportunity: Limited Opportunities, More Dangers

    Anxious Chinese leaders have elevated national security as a priority and sought to manage various international and domestic risks.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Autocrat's Predicament: The Political Peril of Economic Upgrade in Single-Party Authoritarian Regimes

    In their quest for national revival, China's leaders under Xi Jinping have sought to improve the economy's performance. The disappointing economic record of authoritarian regimes provides ample grounds for doubt, yet not all have failed. Why have some succeeded where most did not?

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Boxes of insulin are shown at a Kaiser Permanente warehouse in Downey, California, March 18, 2023, photo by Ringo Chiu/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Report

    How Do U.S. Insulin Prices Compare to Those in Other Countries?

    A review of insulin prices from 2017 through 2022 finds that U.S. gross prices were more than nine times higher than in 33 high-income comparison nations. The cost differences varied depending on the country and the type of insulin, but U.S. prices were always higher.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • A technician stocks the shelves of the pharmacy at White House Clinic in Berea, Kentucky, February 7, 2018, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Report

    Comparing International Prescription Drug Prices

    A comparison of 2022 prescription drug prices finds that across all drugs, U.S. prices were 2.78 times those in 33 other high-income countries. The gap was even larger for brand-named drugs. But unbranded generics cost less in the United States than in the other nations.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Colorful pills on a blue background in the shape of a world map, photo by Kanstantsin/Adobe Stock

    Report

    New Prescription Drugs Typically Sold First in U.S., Reach Other Wealthy Nations Within a Year

    Most new prescription drugs are sold first in the United States before they reach other nations. But ultimately, important medications are sold across most wealthy nations within about a year. These findings have implications for the debate over whether efforts to reduce high prescription costs could hurt Americans' access to new treatments.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • News Release

    News Release

    Insulin Prices Are Sharply Higher in the United States Than in Other Countries

    The gross price of insulin in the United States is more than nine times higher than in 33 high-income comparison nations.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • News Release

    News Release

    New Prescription Drugs Typically Sold First in U.S., Reach Other Wealthy Nations Within a Year

    Most new prescription drugs are sold first in the United States before they reach other nations, but ultimately important medications are sold across most wealthy nations within about a year of first sale.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • News Release

    News Release

    Prescription Drug Prices in the U.S. Are 2.78 Times Those in Other Countries

    Prescription drug prices in the United States are significantly higher than in other nations, with prices in the United States averaging 2.78 times those seen in 33 other nations.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Guidelines for Conducting California Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessments

    The authors review California's rulemaking process and guidelines for conducting standardized regulatory impact assessments for major regulations and provide guidance on methodologies and approaches for assessing the impacts of proposed regulations.

    Jan 30, 2024