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

  • Currency symbols over a digital image of the globe, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images


    Implications of Outbound Investment Controls

    Investments by U.S.-based companies in foreign technology firms based in or owned by strategic competitors are essentially unlimited unless the country is sanctioned. Restricting such investments would have several costs and benefits.

    Jan 17, 2024

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


    Critical Minerals Can Pave the Road to More Robust International Development

    In the developing world, mineral extraction and processing has historically caused not just environmental contamination but also corruption and displacement of local livelihoods. There are opportunities to improve the way companies from the Global North approach critical mineral projects there.

    Jan 12, 2024

  • A Russian tank with Russian currency burning in the foreground


    What Is the Invasion of Ukraine Costing Russia?

    As of September 2022, Russia's military costs of its invasion of Ukraine reached $40 billion. GDP losses in 2022 were between $81 billion and $104 billion. Russia can sustain these costs for at least several years but over the long term its economy and standard of living are likely to decline.

    Dec 18, 2023

  • Surveillance cameras are seen in front of a Huawei logo in Belgrade, Serbia, August 11, 2020, photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters


    China's AI Exports Database (CAIED)

    The China AI Exports Database (CAIED) tracks Chinese government-supported development finance projects that utilized or enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Dove painted on concrete, photo by Msznz/Getty Images


    From the Ashes of Hamas-Israel War, Can Economics Drive Peace?

    The economic costs of the violence in Gaza threaten Israel's economic future. For the Palestinians, the costs may be so large that they undermine the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. But the magnitude of these economic losses may, paradoxically, forge a new pathway toward peace once the fighting stops.

    Nov 28, 2023

  • Stacks of coins with trees on top next to a light bulb with a green map of the world, on top of dirt, in front of a blurred green background, photo by Khanchit Khirisutchalual/Getty Images


    Budget Models Are Underselling the Benefits of Solving Climate Problems

    When Congress considers a new law or spending package, analysts calculate its likely impact on the federal budget. When it comes to climate change legislation, those numbers don't capture the whole picture. Potential savings and other benefits get significantly underestimated.

    Nov 15, 2023

  • A Belt and Road Forum (BRF) logo is seen outside the China National Convention Center in Beijing, China, April 25, 2019, photo by Jason Lee/Reuters


    Development as a Tool of Economic Statecraft: A Net Assessment of U.S. and Chinese Approaches

    The authors conduct a net assessment of U.S. and Chinese approaches to development assistance and cooperation, using a data-driven comparison to reveal opportunities for the United States to better compete with China in the developing world.

    Oct 23, 2023

  • The business district of Vilnius, Lithuania, October 4, 2023, photo by Oliver Berg/Reuters


    The Lithuanian Success Story

    The horrors of the past have motivated Lithuanians to build a successful new independent country. Lithuania is a success story, an advertisement for democracy and market economics during a dark period in Eastern Europe.

    Oct 20, 2023

  • Aerial view of the Intuit Dome construction site with SoFi Stadium in the background in Inglewood, California, October 13, 2023, photo by Image of Sport/Reuters


    A Case for Promoting Infrastructure Equity for the Olympics

    In 2028, Los Angeles will host the Olympic Games for the third time. A critical factor for successfully hosting will be for planners to ask hard questions early, so the community can collaborate with the organizing committee, informing its response to critical themes such as homes, health, transport, jobs, society, and culture.

    Oct 16, 2023

  • Filming for “The Dark Knight Rises” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 12, 2011, <a href=


    The City of Pittsburgh's a Movie Star

    Pennsylvania lawmakers and other stakeholders should consider updates to the film tax credit law and economic development strategy to improve the state's competitiveness, enhance the stability of the industry, and fill gaps in the current workforce.

    Oct 5, 2023

  • Report


    Provision of an indicative, non-exhaustive list of Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRAs) under Regulation 2017/821: Updated methodology

    This report presents the methodology employed by RAND Europe to produce an indicative, non-exhaustive, regularly updated list of conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRAs) under Regulation (EU) 2017/821.

    Sep 29, 2023

  • Signage at the entrance to the UK Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall, photo by Stock.

    Journal Article

    Defence Industrial Power: Understanding the UK's Post-Brexit Role

    This article explores the current challenges in UK foreign policy, particularly in regard to defence. It argues that the UK retains considerable potential post-Brexit, but faces several obstacles in developing its defence industrial power.

    Sep 29, 2023

  • Report


    Disruptive Money: Exploring the Future of Corporate Cryptocurrency

    Researchers considered a future in which corporate cryptocurrency (crypto) is in widespread use and asked experts to identify strategic approaches to evolving technological and economic trends underpinning this potential future.

    Sep 21, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Teacher Pay, the Costs of Insomnia, Wildfire Prevention: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on teachers' dissatisfaction with their pay and work hours, the staggering costs of insomnia, connections between wildfires and food insecurity., and more.

    Sep 15, 2023

  • diplomacyU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Central Asian states' foreign ministers in Astana, Kazakhstan, February 28, 2023, photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool/Reuters


    A Case for Greater U.S. Engagement in Central Asia

    Central Asia's souring relations with Russia and growing skepticism of Chinese influence have created a rare and valuable window of opportunity for the United States to bolster its image through greater long-term investment in the region.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India (r) meets Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, June 1, 2023, photo by ANI/Reuters


    India Is Pushing Back Against China in South Asia

    The jostling between India and China for influence in South Asia will likely prove crucial to the fate of U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy. The good news, at least for now, is that New Delhi has been mostly successful in pushing back against Beijing's rising influence across the region.

    Aug 21, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Private Military Contractors, China's Efforts to Imprison Tibetans, Truth Decay: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on undermining Russia's private military contractors, what nighttime lighting reveals about the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to imprison Tibetans, how Truth Decay damages national security, and more.

    Aug 11, 2023

  • Actor Denzel Washington attends the premiere of the film


    The Film Industry in Pittsburgh: What's the Economic Contribution?

    A Pennsylvania tax credit has attracted many film productions to Pittsburgh. What economic contribution does the film industry make to the local economy? And what are the factors that help attract film productions and grow the film industry in a given area?

    Aug 10, 2023

  • Report


    Modeling the Impact of Research Investment on Down Syndrome–Associated Alzheimer's Disease

    The authors developed a multistate population simulation and projection model to study trends in Down syndrome–associated Alzheimer's disease and the associated impact on caregiving.

    Jul 24, 2023