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.

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in Washington, September 15, 2020, photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

    Report

    The Abraham Accords Could Have Wide-Reaching Economic Benefits

    Mar 18, 2021

    The Abraham Accords between Israel and Muslim nations represent a possible new chapter in the region's development—away from conflict and toward a shared vision of economic prosperity. Israel's partners could gain 150,000 new jobs. And that could grow to 4 million new jobs over a decade if other nations join.

  • Game pieces atop stacks of coins of various heights, depicting income inequity, photo by Andrii Zastrozhnov/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    A New Approach to Measuring Income Inequality

    Apr 30, 2021

    A new method for measuring income inequality reveals that, from 1975 to 2018, the only group for which actual income gains exceeded U.S. GDP growth was the group near the 99th percentile of income distribution.

Explore Economics

  • South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Seoul, December 04, 2019, photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Pool via Reuters

    Report

    The Geopolitics of South Korea–China Relations

    As Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific increases, U.S. allies and partners are adapting their strategic posture. But even as a key U.S. ally, South Korea seems different. How is Beijing’s growing influence in regional affairs affecting relations between South Korea and China? And what effect do they have on U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific?

    Nov 18, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    On the Value of the Umbilical Cord Blood Supply

    Several public cord blood banks are struggling financially, and the question remains whether additional allocations of funds to them are justified. This article estimates the social benefits of public cord blood bank inventory net of cord blood banks' operational costs.

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Empty Wallet

    Multimedia

    Income Distribution in the United States: How It’s Changed Since the 1970s

    RAND senior mathematician Carter Price describes how income distribution and the sharing of economic growth has changed since the 1970s.

    Nov 11, 2020

  • A nurse prepares to inject a potential COVID-19 vaccine into a human patient, photo by PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock.

    Research Brief

    Unequal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Would Further Damage the Global Economy

    As long as the coronavirus is not under control in all regions of the world there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19. Vaccine nationalism could cost up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. If the poorest countries cannot access vaccines, the loss would be between $60 and $340 billion a year.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith (L) and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi following a meeting in Beijing, China, August 3, 2016, photo by Rolex Dela Pena/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vietnam Is Losing Its Best Friends to China

    The wide range of Chinese activities with Cambodia and Laos must be jarring for Vietnamese leaders. China has eclipsed Vietnam in Indochina, and that means that Hanoi's angst will only continue to rise in its own backyard. Vietnam will likely have to find alternative means of engaging Cambodia and Laos to combat Chinese influence in this critical region in the years to come.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • Vials of COVID-19 vaccine, photo by MarsBars/Getty Images

    Report

    COVID-19 'Vaccine Nationalism' Could Cost $1.2 Trillion a Year

    Nationalistic behavior by governments may exclude some countries from access to COVID-19 vaccines. This could cost the world economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. A globally coordinated effort to fight the pandemic is key, not only from a public health perspective but also an economic one.

    Oct 28, 2020

  • Arrows with UK and EU flag images pointing in opposite directions on the ground, with legs and shoes viewed from above, photo by Delpixart/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Free Trade Agreement Still Comes with Costs

    Major issues must be resolved before any UK-EU agreement on post-Brexit trade and economic relations is completed. There will be substantial costs associated with even a zero-tariff trade deal.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Estimating the Cost of Growing the NHS Cancer Workforce in England by 2029

    This research aims to understand the requirements for the NHS, and particularly for HEE, of increasing the seven priority cancer workforces by 45 per cent by 2029.

    Oct 14, 2020

  • Glowing neon line seesaw icon isolated on black background, photo by Kostiantyn/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    A $2.5 Trillion Question: What If Incomes Grew Like GDP Did?

    Income inequality is an aspect of economics that resonates with many Americans: It feels like the rich are getting richer, while the rest are having a hard time just getting by. What would income distribution look like today if incomes grew apace with the economy?

    Oct 6, 2020

  • Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi, Russia, February 15, 2019, photo by Sergei Chirikov/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Belarusian Mortgage on Russia's Future

    In September, President Vladimir Putin signaled that Russia was throwing its weight behind embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. But any move to enforce Putin's will in Belarus could invite tougher Western sanctions and scare investors. This would exacerbate problems facing Russia's flagging economy.

    Oct 5, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Puerto Rico Economy: A Review of Evidence and Options Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017

    The authors review Puerto Rico's economic history and provide analysis following the 2017 hurricane season that serves as the context for a set of principles and actions in the recovery plan for rebuilding a healthy economy.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Supporting a 21st Century Workforce in Puerto Rico: Challenges and Options for Improving Puerto Rico's Workforce System Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017

    A workforce development system that supports Puerto Rico's economic development requires a K through postsecondary education system that emphasizes individuals' career pathways and aligns training with the evolving labor market and business needs.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Unemployment Insurance

    Multimedia

    Unemployment Insurance: Why Does It Vary Across States?

    RAND economist Kathryn Edwards discusses the variance of unemployment insurance across states and its effect on how workers are financially supported.

    Sep 28, 2020

  • Members of parliament attend the first session of the newly elected parliament in Kutaisi, Georgia, November 18, 2016, photo by David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

    Commentary

    Georgia: From COVID-19 to a Critical Test of Democracy

    Georgia has successfully dealt with the COVID-19 outbreak but now must meet the task of conducting free, fair, and transparent parliamentary elections on October 31 and dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic.

    Sep 23, 2020

  • Tool

    Tool

    How Would a Better Diet Affect Health and Economic Outcomes in the United States?

    An online tool shows the effect that improving diet quality in the United States could have on health and economic outcomes, such as the prevalence of diet-related illness, health care spending, and labor force participation, over a 30-year period.

    Sep 21, 2020

  • A worried mother holding her baby while working, photo by damircudic/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    Tracking the Effects of COVID-19 on Lives and Livelihoods

    RAND's Shanthi Nataraj draws on key findings from the RAND American Life Panel to explore how the pandemic is affecting Americans' physical and mental health, their daily lives, and their financial well-being.

    Sep 17, 2020

  • Two USAF A-10 Thunderbolt IIs release countermeasure flares over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, July 23, 2020, photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Parsons/U.S. Air Force

    Q&A

    The Future of Warfare: Q&A with Raphael Cohen

    What will the next decade of warfare look like? Raphael Cohen led a project to answer that question for the U.S. Air Force. The team considered not just technological or force changes, but also how global politics, economics, and the environment will shift and evolve between now and 2030.

    Sep 8, 2020

  • An American flag waving at sunset, photo by Emily Sisson/Getty Images

    Report

    How American Influence Has Declined, and What Can Be Done About It

    The United States has been declining in foreign policy achievements for two decades. Skeptics need to be persuaded that working for a more peaceful and prosperous world is in America's national and their personal interest. And sustained public support for international engagement requires cooperation across party lines.

    Sep 8, 2020

  • Blog

    The Evidence on Kids and COVID-19, China's Use of Big Data, Telemedicine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what we know (and what we don't) about kids and COVID-19, how China is using big data, the future of telemedicine, and more.

    Sep 4, 2020

  • The port of Beirut and its construction cranes, destroyed by an explosion of ammonium nitrate on August 4, 2020, photo by Karine Pierre/Hans Lucas Pictures/Reuters

    Commentary

    Addressing Lebanon's Ailments, Acute and Chronic

    The recent explosion in Beirut has again led to calls for political and economic reforms in Lebanon. The country has an economy in crisis, corruption, few job opportunities, and an influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Sustained global investment is needed if Lebanon is to recover over the long run.

    Sep 1, 2020