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.

  • 3D printer and printable drone, gun, and airplane turbine.

    Article

    Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security

    May 8, 2018

    3D printing has the potential to improve lives. But it could also bring new perils, such as disrupting weapons regulations and jeopardizing manufacturing jobs. While there's reason to be cautious about this technology, there's also danger in overreacting and overregulating what could be a new era of innovation.

  • David Davis, Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (left), and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, talk to the media ahead of negotiations in Brussels, Belgium, September 25, 2017

    Report

    Potential Impacts of Brexit on UK, EU, U.S. Economies

    Dec 12, 2017

    The UK economy is likely to suffer under the most probable post-Brexit trade scenarios. Leaving the EU with no deal would make the UK nearly 5 percent poorer in 2029 than if it had remained. The most beneficial scenario would be a trilateral UK-EU-U.S. agreement, but that is unlikely in the current political environment.

Explore Economics

  • A typical communist style statue in the capital city of North Korea, photo by alexkuehni/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Searching for Signs of Doi Moi in North Korea

    President Trump's second summit with Kim Jong Un prompted voluminous commentary about whether Pyongyang might adopt the “Vietnam model” of economic reform and opening up, known as doi moi. Some version of doi moi is not impossible in North Korea, but it will likely be more difficult than it was in Vietnam and made all the more so by Kim's reluctance to risk losing absolute control.

    Aug 12, 2019

  • Aerial view of islands in Palau, photo by Lightning Strike Pro/Adobe Stock

    Report

    America's Pacific Island Allies

    Located north and northeast of Australia and east of the Philippines, the Freely Associated States of the Pacific are subject to growing Chinese influence. U.S. funding and engagement with these states is key to America's defense and foreign policy goals.

    Aug 6, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Business Cycles and Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment

    The relationship between business cycles and health is theoretically complex. In a seminal paper, Ruhm (2000) outlined a series of economic mechanisms through which business cycles may influence health.

    Aug 6, 2019

  • Two king chess pieces with United States and China flags, photo by MicroStockHub/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Yes, Sam Huntington Has Insights to Guide U.S. Competition with China

    Many U.S. observers believe that the United States is declining relative to China. The United States' long-term competitiveness will be served neither by assuming that China is fated to collapse on account of its internal contradictions nor by presuming that it is destined to preside over a world order with Chinese characteristics. Sustainable strategy requires a measured disposition.

    Jul 25, 2019

  • Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters after being announced as Britain's next prime minister, London, July 23, 2019, photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Challenging Moment for Boris Johnson

    As Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson will bring advantages, and disadvantages, in seeking to lead the United Kingdom through a period as challenging as the Suez Crisis or (perhaps) the darkest days of World War II.

    Jul 23, 2019

  • White prescription pills on a U.S. $100 bill, photo by Stuart Ritchie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Price-Fixing Case Reveals Vulnerability of Generic Drug Policies

    A massive lawsuit filed by 44 states accuses 20 major drug makers of colluding to inflate prices on more than 100 generic drugs, including HIV, cancer, and depression treatments. If these allegations are true, then this isn't just a violation of antitrust law. It's a betrayal of the policies that created and defended the entire generic drug industry.

    Jul 15, 2019

  • Tim Wolf talks about his father at a memorial at RAND's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., January 26, 2017, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Content

    Tim Wolf: Carrying on His Family's Commitment to RAND

    Charles Wolf, Jr. was an economist who spent more than 60 years at RAND and was the founding dean of what is now the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He and his wife, Theresa, included a $1 million bequest in their estate plans to support the school and its students. It's a commitment his son Tim plans to carry forward.

    Jul 9, 2019

  • White House senior adviser Jared Kushner arrives for the U.S.-hosted “Peace to Prosperity” conference, in Manama, Bahrain, June 25, 2019, photo by Matt Spetalnick/Reuters

    Commentary

    Development with No Political Framework Is a Car Without an Engine

    Pushing an economic development plan for the Middle East without addressing the political issues specific to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like trying to sell a car without an engine. Why? Because an economic strategy that doesn't address core political issues would have no governing entity to put it into effect.

    Jul 9, 2019

  • A person in pajamas and slippers walking to the bathroom at the night, photo by Sergey Dogadin/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Waking Up to the Costs of Nocturia

    Nocturia is a troublesome lower urinary tract condition that causes people to wake up two or more times a night to empty their bladder. Researchers calculated the overall economic cost associated with nocturia in a working-age population across six countries.

    Jun 18, 2019

  • Report

    "The Project May Serve the Nation — But What About Us, Who Live Here?": Villagers' Views of the Dawei Special Economic Zone, an Internationally Funded Infrastructure Project in Myanmar

    To gain a better understanding of how foreign infrastructure investment in Myanmar may affect local communities, RAND researchers conducted a survey of 250 residents of communities near the Dawei Special Economic Zone.

    Jun 4, 2019

  • Game pieces on stacks of varying height, photo by Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images

    Commentary

    This Is Not a Great-Power Competition

    The emerging conventional wisdom among foreign policy analysts in Washington is that a new era of great-power competition is upon us. But does that phrase really capture today's reality?

    May 29, 2019

  • Journal Article

    External Threat, Internal Rivalry, and Alliance Formation

    Coalitions of rivals, while formidable against common threats, may find it difficult or impossible to avoid struggles among themselves even if they share an enemy.

    May 15, 2019

  • Scales, money, magnifying glass, and books

    Report

    Tool Created to Help Multinational Companies Assess Risk of Bribery When Doing Business in Foreign Countries

    Corruption can hinder global business investment — particularly in emerging markets — but multinational companies often have difficulty assessing the business bribery risk in other countries. A new tool, called the TRACE Matrix, can help.

    May 13, 2019

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, September 5, 2017, photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Reuters/Pool

    Testimony

    Russia and China in the Middle East: A New Era of Strategic Competition

    Increased Russian and Chinese engagement in the Middle East in recent years underscores that America is in a new period of strategic competition. To prevail, the United States needs to have a vibrant and productive economy, to protect the international order, and to invest in its network of allies and partners.

    May 9, 2019

  • Ezekiel J. Emanuel delivers the 2018 Albert P. Williams Lecture on Health Policy at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters, October 17, 2018, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Why Are Drug Prices So High in the United States?

    Ezekiel J. Emanuel is vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. In 2018, he delivered the Albert P. Williams Lecture on Health Policy at RAND, where he offered a framework for thinking about drug pricing.

    May 3, 2019

  • Report

    Aligning Incentives in the Transportation Working Capital Fund: Cost Recovery While Retaining Readiness in Military Transportation

    Many of U.S. Transportation Command's peacetime movements are crucial preparation for wartime. But some customers think that costs are too high. This report analyzes cost recovery to better align customer peacetime decisions with the wartime mission.

    May 2, 2019

  • Dice with UK and EU flags, and no deal and deal on sides, Photo by Rawf8/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Finding the Real Will of the People

    It's not surprising that the British Parliament is struggling to find a solution to the Brexit impasse. That's because the 2016 vote revealed nothing about the sort of Brexit people actually wanted. When researchers asked Brits to choose between four options in 2017, there was no obvious winner.

    Apr 30, 2019

  • People walk in front of a monitor showing news of North Korea's fresh threat in Tokyo, Japan, August 10, 2017, photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters

    Tool

    DPRK Sanctions: Countering DPRK Proliferation Activities

    This tool provides an understanding of sanctions regimes currently in force against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

    Apr 29, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Estimates of Law Enforcement Costs by Crime Type for Benefit-Cost Analyses

    This paper generates state-level, crime-specific, average variable cost estimates for crime-response services conducted by police by crime type.

    Apr 19, 2019

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 1, 2018, photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    A Warming Trend in China-Russia Relations

    The China-Russia relationship is indeed growing across military, economic, and political dimensions. But it is still more anchored in shared grievances than in common visions. Both countries contest U.S. interests, but in different ways. Washington should treat them as separate strategic challenges.

    Apr 18, 2019