Political Economy

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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

  • Composite image for the U.S. Capitol dome with clouds in the sky and U.S. currency superimposed on the sky, photo by Douglas Rissing/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Nuclear Strategists Know How Dangerous the Debt Fight Is

    Nuclear-war strategists' work offers a warning for Congress: The more times a game is played, the more treacherous it becomes, because when both sides believe catastrophe will always be averted in the end, each behaves more rashly. In the debt-ceiling dispute, the United States could end up defaulting precisely because each side keeps waiting for the other to blink.

    Nov 29, 2021

  • Old wooden chess board with map, photo by Chess board: ChrisAt/Getty Images/iStockphoto. Map: pc/Getty Images Chess pieces: TheUltimatePhotographer/iStockphoto

    Report

    Implementing China's Grand Strategy in Asia Through Institutions: An Exploratory Analysis

    In this report, the authors review the literature on China's grand strategy and discuss China's use of institutions in implementing its grand strategy toward Asian nations of interest to China, including the countries of the Korean Peninsula.

    Nov 29, 2021

  • Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy at a ceremony honoring service members who supported the international response to the unrest in Libya, at Cannes City Hall, November 4, 2011, photo by MC2 Stephen Oleksiak/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Weighing Entanglement Risks of U.S. Security Relationships

    Some analysts argue that security relationships cause the United States to adopt its partners' interests, incentivize allies and partners to engage in reckless behavior, and risk getting dragged into conflicts. Others contend that the United States avoids entanglement by keeping its own interests in mind.

    Nov 22, 2021

  • Russian missile air defence systems at the international military-technical forum Army-2021 in Moscow Region, Russia, August 23, 2021, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Report

    How Diplomacy Could Be Used to Discourage Russian Arms Sales

    Countering Russian arms sales could reduce Russia's influence on other nations as well as revenue that indirectly enables its irresponsible international behavior. The United States and its allies need to provide credible diplomatic and military alternatives, and work with countries to address their security needs.

    Nov 18, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, October 23, 2019., photo by Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    What Does Africa Need Most Now: Russian Arms Sales or Good Vaccines?

    Why is Russia's main export to Africa advanced conventional weapons at a time when other needs are so great? African leaders might think twice about aggressive Russian arms pitches and engagement of mercenaries, and prioritize measures to stem the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage economic growth.

    Nov 17, 2021

  • Map of connections in Asia and Australia, photo by ktsimage/Getty Images

    Report

    Mapping Business Networks in the Asia-Pacific

    As the economies of East and Southeast Asia have exploded in size, the activities of Asian firms have become more and more interdependent. The number of cases in which firms from different countries shared the same director increased almost tenfold from 2006 to 2020.

    Nov 9, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Cost of Stress to UK Employers and Employees

    This paper uses data from the Britain's Healthiest Workplaces survey to highlight the costs associated with stress and impaired wellbeing in the workplace and their implication for productivity and, by extension, the economic health of society.

    Nov 9, 2021

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    News Release

    Hackathon Pairs HBCU Undergrads with Pardee RAND Graduate Students to Identify Ideas for More Equitable COVID-19 Recovery

    Undergraduate students from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College will work alongside Pardee RAND Graduate School students to seek ways to help vulnerable communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual policy hackathon offered by the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and Pardee RAND Graduate School.

    Oct 27, 2021

  • Pharmacists at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center unpack a new shipment in Fairbanks, Alaska, March 30, 2021, photo by Nathan Howard/Reuters

    Report

    Most U.S. Drug Shortages Appear to Be Domestic in Scope

    Major U.S. drug shortages are rarely associated with volume and price changes in other countries. A global perspective is important when addressing shortages, but policymakers and the health care system should explore ways to leverage the supply of drugs in other countries in response to U.S. shortages.

    Oct 27, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS summit, in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019, photo by Ramil Sitdikov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Report

    The Chinese-Russian Relationship and Its Risks to U.S. Interests

    Over the past 70 years, China and Russia have experienced the full range of interstate relations, from conflict to alliance. Beijing and Moscow have become much closer since 2014, increasing political, military, and economic cooperation. What does this mean for the United States?

    Oct 12, 2021

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Select RAND Research on China: 1999-2019

    This volume is an important resource for anyone who is interested in gaining an informed understanding of China, a major strategic competitor of the United States in the economic, technological, diplomatic, and security realms.

    Oct 7, 2021

  • The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea, photo by narvikk/iStock

    Report

    How Does North Korea Evade Sanctions?

    The United Nations has imposed increasingly restrictive sanctions on North Korea after each of the six nuclear weapons tests that it conducted between 2009 and 2016. Enforcement has been mixed, and North Korea has become adept at several techniques to evade sanctions.

    Sep 23, 2021

  • Taliban flags are seen on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 16, 2021, photo by West Asia News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    China and Pakistan See Eye to Eye on the Taliban—Almost

    Beijing and Islamabad share a long history of cooperation and have much in common on Afghanistan. Both are poised to benefit strategically from the Taliban's success. But the Taliban's resurrection almost certainly will add some stress to an otherwise positive and productive bilateral partnership.

    Sep 21, 2021

  • Britni Mann waits to speak with potential employers during a job fair at Hembree Park in Roswell, Georgia, May 13, 2021, photo by Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will Unemployment Insurance Be Reformed? Ask Businesses, Not Workers

    The expiration of pandemic benefits points to the flaw at the heart of unemployment insurance: The constituency that pays for benefits isn't the constituency who receives them. Lasting reform to the unemployment insurance system will mean finding a way to benefit employers directly.

    Sep 15, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    What If Progress Meant Well-Being for All? U.S. Innovators Use Global Insights to Shift the Narrative and Surface Opportunities Ahead

    In many countries, progress is sharply defined only as economic growth. What if that narrative shifted and progress were defined as well-being for all people?

    Sep 1, 2021

  • An art installation showing income inequality in the United States from 1975 to 2018, artwork by Giorgia Lupi

    Project

    Connecting the Dots on Income Inequality

    Based on RAND data, a physical installation created by information designer Giorgia Lupi shows income inequality in the United States over the last four decades. The sculpture also evokes the deeper societal ideas and meanings behind these numbers.

    Aug 31, 2021

  • Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, political chief of the Taliban, in Tianjin, China, July 28, 2021, photo by Li Ran/Xinhua via Reuters

    Commentary

    Chinese Recognition of the Taliban Is All but Inevitable

    China is likely to recognize and legitimize the new leadership in Afghanistan within the coming weeks or months. Even if China has real concerns about the Taliban's willingness to keep its promises, the potential benefits are simply too great for Beijing to ignore.

    Aug 27, 2021

  • The verdict is announced in the embezzlement trial of U.S. investor Michael Calvey (L) at Meshchansky District Court, Moscow, Russia, August 5, 2021, video still by Moscow City Court/TASSTHIS via Reuters

    Commentary

    Which Kremlin Can Investors Expect?

    A Kremlin that backs sound macroeconomic policy and a strong private sector could hearten investors. A Kremlin that pursues statist economics and security at all costs could discourage them. Which Kremlin should investors expect?

    Aug 12, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Addressing America's Crisis of Despair and Economic Recovery: A Call for a Coordinated Effort

    This policy paper proposes a new federal interagency task force to address our nation's crisis of despair as a critical first step to sustainable economic recovery.

    Aug 4, 2021

  • Young couple looking at a laptop at a table, photo by AzmanL/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Insurance Marketplace Regulators Can Help Consumers Enroll in Better Coverage

    The Affordable Care Act simplified shopping for health care by creating the individual health insurance marketplaces where plans are categorized into labeled tiers. Consumers rely on these labels when comparing plans. But the labels don't tell consumers everything they need to know.

    Aug 2, 2021