Current News and Featured Dissertations


  • Five Myths About Obesity

    Dec 27, 2013

    Although the obesity epidemic has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up its share of myths and misunderstandings. Pardee RAND faculty Deb Cohen illustrates some important policy implications.

  • Faculty member Ed Keating: Investing in Firefighting

    Dec 23, 2013

    A 2012 RAND report advised the U.S. Forest Service to transition to scooper aircraft; in this commentary, he evaluates the changes that have happened since the recommendation.

  • Professor Stijn Hoorens' Long-Term View for the EU: The Health of Nations

    Dec 18, 2013

    A new report advocates that by shifting the strategic focus beyond growth and jobs, the successor of the current Europe 2020 Strategy should aim to invest in human capital and avoid sluggish productivity growth achieved at the expense of social inclusion, public health, education and skills, security or freedom.

  • Auerbach: Is There Really a Physician Shortage?

    Dec 5, 2013

    Faculty member David Auerbach examines the reignited concerns about physician shortages resulting from coverage expansions under the ACA, and finds the models do not necessarily imply that intervening to boost physician supply would be worth the investment.

  • Quick Takes: The Convenience Revolution in the Treatment of Minor Health Problems

    Nov 26, 2013

    Convenient options for treating minor health problems are an important new feature of the health care landscape. Pardee RAND professor Ateev Mehrotra discusses these options and their implications for the medical marketplace.

  • Dubowitz and Chandra: Here's to Our Health

    Nov 24, 2013

    Pardee RAND Faculty Anita Chandra and Tamara Dubowitz salute Pittsburgh's new mayor and his mission to make Pittsburgh healthier. They advocate using scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.

  • Agrarian Development and Public Policy in West Bengal, India

    Nov 22, 2013

    From 1980-2000, West Bengal was affected by land reform policies that gave surplus land to the landless, protected tenants, and provided cheap credit, seeds and fertilizer. In this IDSS podcast, Dilip Mookherjee of Boston University looks at the effects of these policies and what the future may hold.

  • Bruce Bennett Discusses North Korea on

    Nov 14, 2013

    To shed some light on Kim Jong-un's possible motivations—and to discuss what might happen if the North Korean government suddenly collapsed the way East Germany's did—Pardee RAND alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75) took part in a question and answer session on

  • Tool Helps Defense Planners Match Priorities for Security Cooperation

    Nov 6, 2013

    PRGS student Jessica Yeats (cohort '10) worked with PRGS professor Christopher Paul and other RAND researchers to develop a tool for U.S. defense planners to augment their strategic planning efforts as they evaluate current and proposed security cooperation efforts.

  • Robust Decision Making Enables Colorado River Planners to Ensure Water Reliability

    Nov 5, 2013

    Pardee RAND student Evan Bloom (cohort '09), professors/alumni David Groves (cohort '01) and Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04), and professors Rob Lempert and Debra Knopman worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to evaluate the resiliency of the Colorado River system over the next 50 years.

  • Rising Cost of Flood Insurance Will Create Serious Challenges for New York City

    Oct 25, 2013

    Research by PRGS student David Manheim and RAND colleagues indicates some New York City residents may face increases of up to $10,000 annually in their flood insurance premiums as a result of major changes occurring in the National Flood Insurance Program and the redrawing of flood maps that expand the areas at risk.

  • Mark Schuster Elected to the Institute of Medicine

    Oct 25, 2013

    Pardee RAND alum Dr. Mark Schuster (cohort '91) has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. He is an adjunct researcher at RAND and the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Chief of General Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Health Policy in the Department of Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital.

  • Student Assesses Partisan Geographic Sorting in California

    Oct 23, 2013

    After examining microgeographic voting and party registration data from California, PRGS student Jesse Sussell (cohort '10) found that Republicans and Democrats are becoming increasingly geographically segregated from one another. His research was published in PS, the journal of the American Political Science Association.

  • The Role of Economic Development Zones in National Development Strategies: The Case of China

    Oct 18, 2013

    Based on a systematic review of the historical data and policies for economic development zones in China, this dissertation creates a unique classification system for the development path of these zones and identified four distinct phases.

  • Quality of Patient Care Drives Physician Satisfaction; Doctors Have Concerns About Electronic Health Records

    Oct 9, 2013

    Being able to provide high-quality health care is a primary driver of job satisfaction among physicians, and obstacles to quality patient care are a source of stress for them. For example, the systems for electronic health records in use today are cumbersome to operate and contribute to their dissatisfaction, according to research by PRGS student John Caloyeras (cohort '09) and RAND colleagues.

  • Opt-In, Opt-Out; Why Not Forced Choice?

    Oct 8, 2013

    By default, browsers generally are set to automatically allow online tracking, but there may be a better way to make sure consumers decide whether or not they want to allow advertisers to sniff at their digital footprints, writes PRGS student Steven Isley (cohort '10).

  • Ringel Honored with Huddleson Outstanding Teacher Award

    Sep 24, 2013

    Students selected PRGS professor Jeanne Ringel as the Huddleson Award recipient for a core course and Annie Boustead (cohort '11) as the Outstanding TA Award recipient for 2013. Students in the 2011 and 2012 cohorts voted on the Huddleson Award recipient, and all students were eligible to vote for the Outstanding TA Award.

  • Assessing China's Foreign Aid and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities

    Sep 18, 2013

    With the world's second largest economy, China has the capacity to engage in substantial programs of development assistance and government investment in any and all of the emerging-market countries. PRGS students Xiao Wang (cohort '08) and Eric Warner (cohort '10), as well as professor Charles Wolf Jr., assessed the scale, trends, and composition of these programs in 93 countries in six regions.

  • To Stop Prisons' Revolving Door

    Sep 16, 2013

    If California wants to reduce its prison population, it needs to address recidivism, and the best way to do this is through education and job training, writes PRGS professor Lois Davis. Cutting education and vocational training may seem like a tempting way to plug short-term budget gaps, but it actually ends up costing the system more over time.

  • U.S. Debt Could Reduce U.S. Global Influence in the Future

    Sep 16, 2013

    The United States still has the economic muscle to shape important aspects of the international environment, but high government debt in the future may undermine its economic instruments of power and its ability to influence global conditions through nonmilitary means, according to research by PRGS student Zhimin Mao (cohort '11).

  • What to Do About 'Futile' Critical Care

    Sep 13, 2013

    There are times when no amount of care, however cutting-edge it is, will save a patient. In these instances, writes PRGS professor Neil Wenger, further critical care is said to be “futile.” This type of treatment is not uncommon in intensive care units, and that raises some uncomfortable questions.

  • Modeling Industry Transformation and the Political Sustainability of Emission Control Policies

    Sep 9, 2013

    Limiting climate change will require transformation of energy and other systems. A report by PRGS student Steven Isley (cohort '10) and professors Robert Lempert, Steven Popper, and Rafaele Vardavas offers an RDM-based model designed to compare the long-term sustainability of alternative carbon emission reduction policies.

  • The Desirability of 'Free' C-27s for the U.S. Forest Service

    Sep 6, 2013

    Although we believe that a scooper-centric firefighting aircraft portfolio for initial attack would still be preferred, Air Force-provided 1,850-gallon C-27Js could be a cost-effective component of the retardant-bearing portion of the Forest Service's airborne firefighting arsenal, write PRGS professor Edward Keating and colleague Daniel Norton.

  • For Pardee RAND Graduate School, a $3.6 Million Gift

    Sep 4, 2013

    Frederick S. Pardee, a former RAND researcher, contributed $3.6 million to support the Pardee RAND Graduate School and to create its Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress. His generous gift will seed projects that help those in developing countries.

  • Surprise! Now What?

    Aug 27, 2013

    Who is best prepared for responding to surprise: a Navy SEAL, an NFL coach, or a Fortune 500 CEO? The answer, according to PRGS student D. Steven Fox (cohort '09) and professor Dave Baiocchi, is that all three professions have something to teach us: The NFL coach is an expert in pre-planning; the SEAL is great under pressure; and a good CEO has become an expert in responding to strategic threats.

  • Surprise: Q and A with Dave Baiocchi and D. Steven Fox

    Aug 14, 2013

    Dealing with surprises is an important part of many professions, according to a new book by PRGS student Steven Fox (cohort '09) and professor Dave Baiocci. The NFL coach prepares by developing a comprehensive response plan for anything that could happen during the game while the Navy SEALs rely on a looser framework that helps them stay alive and achieve their mission objective.

  • Online Training for Building Resilient Communities

    Aug 13, 2013

    PRGS professors Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta have developed an easy-to-use, self-guided online training that shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience, helping them recover and learn from disaster—both natural and man-made.

  • PRGS Announces 300th Graduate

    Aug 6, 2013

    Congratulations to Jim Burgdorf (cohort '06), the 300th graduate of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Burgdorf's dissertation examined whether bundling health insurance with employment distorts labor market choices. He is now a staff researcher in Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego.

  • Linking Funding and Quality to Improve Higher Education in India

    Jul 23, 2013

    India's higher education system faces challenges from underprepared faculty, unwieldy governance, and other obstacles to innovation and improvement, according to research by PRGS alum Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05), professor Trey Miller, and student Megan Clifford (cohort '09). Instituting policies that link funding to quality could hold schools accountable for their performance, encourage greater innovation, and further the nation's education goals.

  • Charting the Course for a New Air Force Inspection System

    Jul 11, 2013

    PRGS student Elizabeth Wilke (cohort '07) and colleagues collected data on the U.S. Air Force inspection system and identified effective inspection and information collection practices that the USAF might emulate.

  • Gender-Specific Approaches Needed for Women's Health

    Jun 27, 2013

    Listen in on this panel discussion featuring PRGS professor Chloe E. Bird on women's health, heart health, gender-based disparities in health care, and the need for gender-specific approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

  • North Korea Could Fall Faster Than We Think

    Jun 2, 2013

    The United States, South Korea and their allies would be well advised to factor in the possibility that North Korea could collapse in a fit of revolt and economic decay at any time, just as East Germany did, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).

  • Research Is a Fundamental Component of Suicide Prevention

    May 24, 2013

    "There's no better way to honor the men and women who have died by suicide — and the families and friends they left behind — than to ensure that the country is doing all it can to avoid future premature deaths," PRGS professor Rajeev Ramchand wrote two years ago. He says this message is even more important this year.

  • Bruce Bennett Interviewed on U.S.-China Relations

    May 22, 2013

    PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75), a senior defense analyst at RAND, discusses relations between the U.S. and China.

  • Enhancing Security Cooperation at the Korea-U.S. Summit

    May 7, 2013

    The U.S.-South Korean Extended Deterrence Policy Committee was setup to deter North Korean threats, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75). The upcoming summit should ratify the progress of this effort, reassuring both the Korean and U.S. people that these threats are being managed.

  • Dean's Report Informs Board of Governors about School's Progress

    May 1, 2013

    In her report to the Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors for fiscal year 2012, Dean Susan Marquis shares information about the new cohort, commencement weekend activities, recent graduates, alumni highlights, events, dissertation awards, the year in fundraising, curriculum updates, and more.

  • Can Catholic Colleges Block Free Condom Distribution?

    Apr 22, 2013

    If this issue were to be decided on the basis of public health benefits, the outcome would be clear: Condoms indisputably prevent both unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, writes PRGS professor Chloe Bird.

  • Boston Marathon Bombings Highlight Need to Measure Investment in Homeland Security

    Apr 18, 2013

    In recent years — especially following the economic downturn — states, counties, and cities have looked for ways to reduce costs and maintain basic policing services, leading many to question what the investment in counterterrorism and homeland security has achieved for their jurisdiction, writes PRGS professor Lois Davis.

  • Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    Apr 18, 2013

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions, write PRGS professors Rob Lempert and Anita Chandra.

  • Price Shopping in Consumer-Directed Health Plans

    Apr 17, 2013

    Based on insurance claims for nine common outpatient services in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs), PRGS alum Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) and colleagues found no evidence that those with lower expected medical expenses engaged in more price shopping. Consumers did not engage in more price shopping before reaching the CDHP deductible, either.

  • Gery Ryan Named Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs

    Apr 12, 2013

    PRGS professor and RAND researcher Gery Ryan has joined the PRGS staff as assistant dean for academic affairs, replacing Jeffrey Wasserman, who stepped down upon his appointment as vice president of RAND and director of RAND Health.

  • Media Conference Call on Escalating Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

    Apr 9, 2013

    RAND Asia experts Bruce Bennett (PRGS alum, cohort '75), Andrew Scobell and David Shlapak hosted a news media conference call to discuss the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. Media Relations Officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

  • Professor Provides Energy Expertise on Wall Street Journal Panel

    Mar 29, 2013

    PRGS professor Keith Crane is part of the Wall Street Journal's "Experts: Energy" panel. This week he answered two questions: "How will the U.S. oil boom change the markets and geopolitics?" and "Should there be a price on carbon emissions, and if so, what’s the best way to do it?"

  • Estimating Marijuana Consumption in Washington State

    Mar 20, 2013

    On TVW's The Impact news show, drug policy expert and PRGS professor Beau Kilmer speaks about being a part of the team selected by the state of Washington to provide research and analysis to regulators on the issues surrounding marijuana legalization. The interview with Kilmer starts at 3:30 and runs until 10:30.

  • An Energy-Independent United States

    Mar 20, 2013

    Energy expert and PRGS professor Keith Crane discusses shifts in U.S. energy markets, their economic implications and effects on gasoline and electricity prices, and how these developments might affect climate change.

  • Discounts on Healthy Foods Can Improve Diet Quality; First Result from a National Program

    Mar 19, 2013

    Lowering the costs of healthy foods in supermarkets increases the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods that people eat, while also appearing to reduce consumption of nutritionally less-desirable foods, according to research by PRGS professor Roland Sturm and student Ruopeng An (cohort '08).

  • Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship Supports Research on Shale and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Feb 28, 2013

    PRGS professor Nick Burger has been awarded our first-ever Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship, to conduct research with students Kun Gu and Zhimin Mao (both cohort '11). The team will estimate the greenhouse gas implications of abundant U.S. shale gas resources.

  • Palliative Care: Improving Quality of Life for the Seriously Ill

    Feb 26, 2013

    Karl Lorenz, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, discusses how to improve palliative care training for health practitioners and better engage patients in the health care decisionmaking process.

  • Media Conference Call on Early Childhood Development

    Feb 19, 2013

    In this media conference call, PRGS professors Rebecca Kilburn and Anita Chandra, as well as other RAND experts on early childhood development and education, explain the importance of early childhood development in laying the foundation for success later in life, as well as the potential for high-quality programs to yield a return on investment for society at large.

  • Overcoming Obstacles to Peace: Local Factors in Nation Building

    Feb 18, 2013

    PRGS student Todi Mengistu (cohort '07) contributed to RAND's latest report on nation building. The report finds that the benefits of nation-building interventions have exceeded the costs, and the interventions do not need to be transformative to achieve their main objectives.

  • Efforts to Reform Physician Payment: Tying Payment to Performance

    Feb 14, 2013

    PRGS professor and alum Cheryl Damberg (cohort '89) testified before Congress. Among her conclusions: "Revising physician payment is a daunting challenge, but one that is absolutely necessary. Performance-based payment reform is vital to driving improvements in health care delivery."

  • California Should Collect Physician Identifiers from Hospitals

    Feb 7, 2013

    PRGS student Nicole Schmidt (cohort '09) worked with RAND Health colleagues to explore the possibility of adding physician identifiers to the California hospital discharge data set. Their research found that physician-identified data could be useful to a variety of stakeholders without posing a substantial burden to hospitals.

  • Eliminating Food Deserts

    Feb 6, 2013

    Can building a grocery store in a "food desert" change food purchasing and reduce health disparities in the U.S.? PRGS professor Tamara Dubowitz introduces an innovative new RAND project that may provide answers.

  • In Brief: Jordan R. Fischbach on Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast

    Feb 6, 2013

    In this video, Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

  • Estimating Regional Air-Quality Damages from Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction in Pennsylvania

    Jan 31, 2013

    PRGS professor Aimee Curtright describes research she conducted with students Aviva Litovitz (cohort '08) and Shmuel Abramzon (cohort '10) that provides a first-order estimate of air emissions, and the monetary value of the associated damages, from the extraction of shale gas in Pennsylvania.

  • Evaluating State Department Support for the Global Methane Initiative

    Jan 31, 2013

    According to research by PRGS student Yashodhara Rana (cohort '09) and colleagues, total U.S. government funding for the Global Methane Initiative, a voluntary international partnership that promotes methane recovery and reuse activities in developing and transition economies, was approximately $54 million between fiscal years 2006 and 2010, with most coming from the Department of State (52 percent) and a large share from the EPA (37 percent).

  • 25 Small Ideas for Saving Big Health Care Dollars

    Jan 30, 2013

    Given the size of the U.S. annual “health care spend”—$2.7 trillion—summing up the savings associated with very minor cost-saving policy changes is likely to achieve significant aggregate savings, writes PRGS alum Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85), acting director of RAND Health and assistant dean for academic affairs at PRGS.

  • Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast: Lessons from Louisiana for Federal Policy

    Jan 23, 2013

    In this January 2013 Congressional Briefing, PRGS professor and alum Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04) discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

  • When Winning Means Losing: Israel After the Election

    Jan 23, 2013

    It is not clear whether or to what extent Netanyahu will abandon his traditional coalition partners on the right and turn toward the fragmented political center. However, such a turn may be necessary, writes PRGS student Shira Efron (cohort '11).

  • PRGS Celebrates the Life and Legacy of James Q. Wilson

    Jan 21, 2013

    James Q. Wilson, a longtime board member, bestowed upon the Pardee RAND Graduate School his papers and books. To honor him, PRGS unveiled the James Q. Wilson Collection in RAND's library, and RAND celebrated his legacy with a policy forum discussion.

  • PRGS Celebrates the Life and Legacy of James Q. Wilson

    Jan 21, 2013

    James Q. Wilson, a longtime board member, bestowed upon the Pardee RAND Graduate School his papers and books. To honor him, PRGS unveiled the James Q. Wilson Collection in RAND's library, and RAND celebrated his legacy with a policy forum discussion. PRGS alum Angela Hawken (cohort '98) participated in the panel.

  • Noted Political Scientist James Q. Wilson's Papers to Be Archived at RAND

    Jan 14, 2013

    The Wilson papers, a mixture of professional and scholarly items that include correspondence with other scholars and public officials, will become part of the James Q. Wilson Archive and will be housed at the headquarters campus of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif.

  • Examining Different Forms of Organizations for Managing and Disposing of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste

    Jan 11, 2013

    A federal government corporation and an independent government agency are the two most promising models for a new organization to manage and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States, according to research by PRGS student Zhimin Mao (cohort '11) and several PRGS professors.

  • Wu Discusses Findings of "What's On the Menu?"

    Jan 7, 2013

    PRGS alum Helen Wu (cohort '07) discusses a RAND study that looked at over 300,000 menu items in 245 restaurants. The study, which started as Wu's dissertation research and is the largest ever on chain restaurant nutrition, found that 96 percent of restaurant items exceeded USDA recommendations.

  • Conference Call on 11th Anniversary of 'No Child Left Behind' Act

    Jan 4, 2013

    PRGS professors Brian Stecher and Laura Hamilton, and RAND Education director Darleen Opfer, conducted a media conference call to discuss the 11th anniversary of the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, or "No Child Left Behind."


  • The 24/7 Sobriety Project: A New Approach to Reducing Drunk Driving and Domestic Violence

    Nov 15, 2012

    Excessive alcohol consumption costs society nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars each year. An innovative program that combines frequent alcohol testing for offenders with swift and certain sanctions for failed tests can help reduce problem drinking and improve public health, according to research by PRGS student Greg Midgette (cohort '09) and professors Beau Kilmer, Nancy Nicosia, and Paul Heaton.

  • Ostwald Helps Develop Tool to Support Local Disaster Preparedness Planning

    Nov 1, 2012

    PRGS alumnus Jordan Ostwald (cohort '08) worked with RAND colleagues to develop a disaster preparedness planning tool. As municipalities dig out from Sandy and plan for the future, this could prove quite helpful.

  • PRGS Professor Wins Independent Scientist Award from National Institute on Aging

    Oct 30, 2012

    PRGS professor Titus Galama has received an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institute on Aging, a prestigious career development award offered by the National Institutes of Health to foster the development of outstanding scientists.

  • Samantha Ravich Presents Strata Conference + Hadoop World Keynote

    Oct 25, 2012

    PRGS alum Samantha Ravich (cohort '92) asks, are we really winning the information revolution? Ravich is a member of the National Commission for the Review of R&D Programs in the Intelligence Community.

  • NATO Faces Growing Fiscal Austerity and Declining Defense Budgets

    Oct 22, 2012

    PRGS student Deborah Lai (cohort '08) coauthored a RAND study that analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven key European members of NATO and suggests ways in which the Alliance can adapt to meet emerging security challenges.

  • Department of Interior Awards Colorado River Basin Study Team for Collaboration Efforts

    Oct 22, 2012

    PRGS student Evan Bloom (cohort '09) is part of a research team that recently won a Department of the Interior "Partners in Conservation" award for being "a model of collaboration for future watershed planning across the country."

  • Israel, Iran, and the Redline Debate

    Oct 17, 2012

    "In discussing the latest Iran-Israel dynamics, you can't get away from red lines," writes PRGS professor Dalia Dassa Kaye, who is also the director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy.

  • Former PRGS Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

    Oct 15, 2012

    Lloyd Shapley, a longtime RAND researcher who is now an emeritus professor at UCLA, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with Alvin E. Roth for his work on game theory. Shapley taught Game Theory at the (then) RAND Graduate School in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • PRGS Team Develops Model to Assess Flood Risk in Coastal Louisiana

    Oct 10, 2012

    In an excellent example of how PRGS helps RAND innovate to make a difference in the world, an all-PRGS team developed a model to assess flood risk in coastal Louisiana: Professor (and alum) Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04), Professor David Ortiz, students David Johnson (cohort '08) and Matthew Hoover (cohort '09), and alumni Ben Bryant (cohort '05) and Jordan Ostwald (cohort '08).

  • Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

    Oct 1, 2012

    PRGS professor Brian Stecher introduces RAND Education's Measuring Teacher Effectiveness website, a resource for teachers, administrators, policymakers, parents, and anyone else seeking objective, nonpartisan information on measuring teaching effectiveness.

  • Preserving Access and Quality in an Era of Rising University Tuition Fees

    Sep 28, 2012

    State financing of higher education is under stress as countries all over the world struggle with fiscal pressures. PRGS professor Charles A. Goldman, student Megan Clifford (cohort '09) and alumna Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05) review a number of cost-sharing policies that can be adopted and how they may affect access to and the quality of education.

  • Current and Former First Ladies Gather at RAND Forum in New York to Expand Leadership on Women's Issues

    Sep 26, 2012

    The RAND African First Ladies Fellowship aims to help first ladies and their staffs develop skills for managing an effective first lady's office and learn practical policy-analysis techniques. Over a two-year period, first ladies and fellows will develop and implement a plan to address one of their nation's top challenges, such as maternal and child health, women's issues or education.

  • What Accounts for Income Inequality?

    Sep 21, 2012

    PRGS founding dean Charles Wolf writes in the latest RAND Review, "It is more important to know the underlying explanations for inequality across countries and within them, rather than the amount of inequality or changes in it."

  • Schuster Examines Racial, Ethnic Health Disparities in Pre-Teens

    Aug 24, 2012

    Interventions that address potentially detrimental consequences of low socioeconomic status and adverse school environments among pre-adolescent Latino and black children may help reduce racial and ethnic differences in child health, according to research by PRGS alumnus Mark Schuster (cohort '91).

  • "Socialized" or Not, We Can Learn from the VA

    Aug 8, 2012

    As the United States struggles to confront the twin challenges of rising health care costs and uncertain quality, we should embrace innovative practices wherever they exist—whether they are developed in private, for-profit health care systems or so-called "socialized" ones, like Britain's NHS or America's VA, writes PRGS professor Art Kellermann.

  • Applying Lessons from RAND's Work on Planning Under Uncertainty

    Aug 2, 2012

    A first step in dealing with uncertainty is confronting its existence, ubiquity, and magnitude. A second step is dealing with it when informing assessments and decisions. Research by PRGS professor Paul K. Davis describes how lessons from RAND's national security work on planning under uncertainty can be applied in many other fields.

  • Lessons of 1st Carmageddon in L.A. — by the Numbers

    Aug 2, 2012

    Rather than threatening that the closure will be a mess, messages appealing to citizens' public spirit that Los Angeles can pull together again to make the closure go smoothly are more likely to resonate because they are consistent with past experience, writes Martin Wachs, who teaches "Transportation Planning and Policy in the U.S." at PRGS.

  • Bedside Manners: Obesity Is Not All Your Fault

    Jul 26, 2012

    We will be more successful at stemming the growing tide of obesity and improving our own health if everyone accepts their share of responsibility for the obesity epidemic, write PRGS professor Chloe E. Bird and RAND colleague Tamara Dubowitz.

  • Student Paper on Wind, Solar Innovation Receives Conference Prize

    Jul 24, 2012

    PRGS student Eileen Hlavka (cohort '07) has received the Special Plenary Paper Prize from the 13th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation. Her research on "The Federal Tax Credit Impacts on Wind and Solar Innovation" was deemed to provide "the most original and substantial contribution to climate policy."

  • Marijuana Legalization: What We Know and What We Don't

    Jul 24, 2012

    In this July 2012 Congressional Briefing, drug policy experts and PRGS professors Beau Kilmer and Rosalie Pacula discuss marijuana legalization, how it differs from decriminalization, its possible consequences, and federal response to state initiatives.

  • Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible

    Jul 18, 2012

    PRGS student Tewodaj "Todi" Mengistu (cohort '07) is a coauthor of a recent RAND report on democratization in the Arab world. A key takeaway: Policymakers in the United States and other nations should be wary of "rules of thumb" and simplified predictions of how political change will happen.

  • North Korean Defense Chief's Retirement Has Hallmarks of Purge

    Jul 17, 2012

    It is notable that North Korea's Politburo made the announcement that Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho had retired, suggesting a rise in power of the party relative to the military. The choice of Ri's successor is also curious, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).

  • Ten Books That Will Change the Way You Think

    Jul 10, 2012

    We recently asked our faculty, What books inspire you to train your sights on the most intractable problems of our time? To come up with innovative, persuasive, and enduring solutions? To ensure that no matter the topic, the problem is well formulated and the research approach is well designed and well executed?

  • Spring-Summer Issue of Alumni Newsletter Celebrates 2012 Commencement

    Jun 29, 2012

    The Commencement 2012 issue of Findings includes information about the Dean's speech (and links to all the speeches), photos of alumni and graduates, and featured news about alumni and PRGS events.

  • Prisoner Reentry and Public Health: Is Your State Ready?

    Jun 29, 2012

    In this June 2012 Congressional Briefing, PRGS professor Lois Davis discusses the health care needs of prisoners who reenter the general population; the roles that health care providers, other social services, and family members play in successful reentry; and recommendations for improving access to care for this population in the current fiscal environment.

  • PRGS Experts Weigh In on Affordable Care Act Decision

    Jun 28, 2012

    PRGS Alum Cheryl Damberg (cohort '89) and Professors Christine Eibner and Arthur Kellermann are among the RAND experts reacting to what is likely the most significant health care-related court decision of the U.S.

  • World Bank President Urges Graduates to Put Ideas Into Action

    Jun 28, 2012

    Today's public policymakers have a unique opportunity to shape the future, but only if they focus on putting ideas into action and "get stuff done," said Robert B. Zoellick, the 11th president of the World Bank Group, at the Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement on June 23, 2012.

  • Alumni Interview: Donna Farley Discusses Her PRGS, RAND Career

    Jun 27, 2012

    After 14 years as senior researcher at RAND Health, PRGS alumna Donna Farley (cohort '89) retired in September 2010. She recently spoke with Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85), Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at PRGS, and reflected upon her experiences both as a PRGS student and a RAND researcher.

  • Alumna Beth McGlynn Receives AcademyHealth's Distinguished Investigator Award

    Jun 25, 2012

    PRGS alumna Elizabeth McGlynn (cohort '83) has been honored with AcademyHealth's 2012 Distinguished Investigator Award. Her extensive research on health care quality has had an enormous impact on how experts evaluate health care reform.

  • Bringing Sustainability to the Louisiana Coast

    Jun 5, 2012

    PRGS professor/alum David Groves (cohort '01) describes RAND's role in helping to develop a plan to guide Louisiana's coastal investments, help its coastal citizens plan for the future, and create a sustainable coast.

  • Albrecht Honored with PRGS Alumni Leadership Award

    May 21, 2012

    Mark J. Albrecht (cohort ’73) is the inaugural recipient of the PRGS Alumni Leadership Award. The award will be given on Friday, June 22, 2012, at the Celebratory Dinner during Commencement Weekend.

  • OJT Project Seeks to Quantify Scope, Size, and Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy

    May 9, 2012

    Violent crimes against individuals make headlines, but other types of criminal activity affect day-to-day life more than people may realize. For his On-the-Job Training, PRGS Student Alessandro Malchiodi (cohort '08) is working with RAND researchers to quantify the scope, size, and impact of counterfeiting and piracy in the European Union.

  • Probiotics Can Reduce Certain Side Effects of Taking Antibiotics

    May 8, 2012

    Taking probiotics can reduce the risk of developing the diarrhea that is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. PRGS professors Susanne Hempel, Jeremy Miles, and Paul Shekelle were coauthors of the report on the promising role of these helpful microorganisms.

  • Improving Workplace Safety the Focus of Student's OJT Project

    May 4, 2012

    As part of his On-the-Job Training, PRGS student Christopher McClaren (cohort '05) is working with the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace to explore ways to improve workplace safety.

  • PRGS Offers Public Policy Analysis Workshop for Congressional Staffers

    May 3, 2012

    PRGS is, of course, preparing future leaders in policy analysis. We're also proud to share the tools and techniques taught in our Ph.D. program with current leaders—including those in Congress—who are directly influencing policy worldwide.

  • Does Junk Food in Schools Increase Childhood Obesity?

    Apr 30, 2012

    Despite growing concern that junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic, research by PRGS alumna Ashlesha Datar (cohort '99) shows that the availability does not significantly increase BMI or obesity among a group of fifth-graders.

  • Professor Contributes Thoughtful Commentary to Marijuana Legalization Debate

    Apr 20, 2012

    Being honest about the uncertainties involved is the price of admission to any serious discussion about marijuana legalization, writes PRGS professor Beau Kilmer in the Wall Street Journal. Kilmer and PRGS alumna Angela Hawken (cohort '98) are co-authors of the forthcoming book, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.

  • Professor Contributes Thoughtful Commentary to Marijuana Legalization Debate

    Apr 20, 2012

    Being honest about the uncertainties involved is the price of admission to any serious discussion about marijuana legalization, writes PRGS professor Beau Kilmer in the Wall Street Journal. Kilmer and PRGS alumna Angela Hawken (cohort '98) are co-authors of the forthcoming book, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.

  • Honoring the Earth: Students' OJT Project Helps Plan the Future of Louisiana's Coast

    Apr 20, 2012

    As part of their On-the-Job Training, PRGS Student Christopher Sharon (cohort '07) and David R. Johnson (cohort '08) were members of the RAND team that developed models and the planning tool for Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

  • Does Pay for Performance Work in Health Care?

    Apr 12, 2012

    Medical pay-for-performance plans may improve patient outcomes, according to research by PRGS alum John Peabody (cohort '91) published last year in the journal Health Affairs. However, the improved performance may be as much due to careful measurement as to incentives.

  • Tax Credits Can Improve Disabled Veterans' Employment Prospects, Professor Shows

    Apr 11, 2012

    The 2007 expansion of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program increased employment among disabled veterans by 2 percentage points in 2007 and 2008, representing roughly 32,000 jobs each year, according to research by PRGS professor Paul Heaton.

  • Students Diaz, Malchiodi, and Outcault Work with Yucatan Project for OJT

    Apr 11, 2012

    RAND is working with the State of Yucatan, Mexico, to design and evaluate a non-contributory social security program for larger towns. As part of their On-the-Job Training, PRGS students Claudia Diaz (cohort '06), Sarah Outcault (cohort '07), and Alessandro Malchiodi (cohort '08) are working with the RAND Center for Latin American Social Policy on this effort.

  • Alumnus Authors Report on Independent Contractors

    Apr 6, 2012

    Alumnus Philip J. Romero (cohort '83), a professor of administration at the University of Oregon, recently authored a report on the role and importance of independent contractors in California.

  • Student's Research Helps Electronic Health Record Implementation

    Apr 3, 2012

    Clinical decision support (CDS), which provides both targeted and general information to health care providers using electronic health records, helps to improve health outcomes. PRGS student Amber Smith (cohort '09) and her RAND colleagues developed a process for identifying and prioritizing the most promising targets for CDS.

  • OJT Project Analyzes European Drug Market

    Apr 2, 2012

    As one of his On-the-Job Training projects, PRGS student Jim Burgdorf (cohort '06) worked with researchers in RAND Europe and the Drug Policy Research Center to analyze the illicit drug market in the European Union.

  • Student Examines Role of Law in Public Health Preparedness

    Mar 30, 2012

    Most local public health and emergency management professionals rely on what they perceive the legal environment to be rather than on an adequate understanding of the objective legal requirements, according to an article coauthored by student Helen Wu (cohort '07) in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

  • Alumnus Encourages Culture of Islamic Entrepreneurship

    Mar 23, 2012

    "There has never been a more opportune time to reinvigorate the age-old values of knowledge and innovation with a new set of interactions between East and the West," writes PRGS alumnus Athar Osama (cohort '99) in a New Straits Times commentary.

  • Eliminating Discretionary Use of Anesthesia Providers Could Save $1.1 Billion Annually

    Mar 22, 2012

    Student Dan Waxman (cohort '10) coauthored a JAMA report that suggests the use of anesthesia providers to monitor sedation during screening colonoscopies and other outpatient gastroenterology procedures more than doubled from 2003 to 2009 in the United States, with most of the increase among low-risk patients who may not need this service.

  • Student Co-Authors JAMA Commentary on Eliminating Waste in Health Care

    Mar 15, 2012

    Rather than cutting costs, the U.S. should focus on reducing waste in health care spending, writes PRGS student Andrew Hackbarth (cohort '08) in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The opportunity for savings is immense: overtreatment, failures of care coordination, failures in execution of care processes, administrative complexity, pricing failures, and fraud and abuse account for at least 20% of current spending.

  • Arguden Publishes Book on Governance and Strategic Leadership

    Mar 15, 2012

    Yilmaz Arguden (cohort '80), chairman of ARGE Consulting in Turkey, recently published Keys to Governance: Strategic Leadership for Quality of Life. He and his book were featured in Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News.

  • PRGS Selects New Academic Regalia

    Mar 13, 2012

    After several weeks of researching, acquiring samples and polling our community (and a brief fashion show to boot!), PRGS is proud to announce our official custom academic regalia. Many prominent schools design their own distinctive regalia for their alumni in academic appointments to wear in commencement ceremonies, and PRGS is now part of that distinguished group.

  • Farewell, James Q. Wilson

    Mar 2, 2012

    No one knew better than James Q. Wilson that from concentrated study and intellectual freedom come ideas that change the world. Wilson, who died March 2, 2012, at age 80, was a strong supporter of PRGS and a member of its Board of Governors. His personal and academic contributions to PRGS and RAND will be greatly missed.

  • Alumna Visits Campus for Breakfast Talk about Life After PRGS

    Mar 1, 2012

    Kristi Raube (cohort '87) visited PRGS on March 1 to have breakfast with several students and talk about her career path as a self-described "reluctant academic." The Office of Career Services encourages alumni to come back and share insights into their experiences since graduating from PRGS.

  • Creating Resilient Coastal Communities

    Feb 28, 2012

    In this Resilient Communities podcast, PRGS professor and alum Jordan R. Fischbach (cohort '04) discusses research that has helped the city of New Orleans address the challenge of reducing flood risk and is relevant to many other coastal communities that are concerned with water resources, infrastructure planning, rising sea levels, and flooding.

  • How Do Actions and Working Conditions Relate to Outcomes for First-Year Principals in Urban School Districts?

    Feb 24, 2012

    Principals new to their school face a variety of challenges that can influence their likelihood of improving their schools' performance and their likelihood of remaining the principal. PRGS student Susan Burkhauser (cohort '09) and her RAND coauthors present research on first-year principals' experiences, actions, working conditions, and outcomes. The research is intended to inform efforts to promote school improvement and principal retention.

  • Maui's "Smart Grid" Pilot Project Led by PRGS Alumnus

    Feb 15, 2012

    PRGS alum Jay Griffin (cohort '04) heads the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and is leading a "smart grid" pilot project with some Maui homeowners to reduce their electricity usage and costs. KHON2-TV interviewed him about the project.

  • Professor Shares Expert Views at Transportation Panel Discussion

    Feb 13, 2012

    Martin Wachs, who teaches the Transportation Planning elective at PRGS, was one of the four transportation experts presenting their views on federal transport funding during a recent panel discussion in Philadelphia.

  • Washington Experience Takes Students Beyond the Classroom and into the Field

    Feb 10, 2012

    Each fall, the Washington Experience offers 4-6 PRGS students a better understanding of the federal government policymaking environment and culture through extended exposure to, and interaction with, members of the federal government and related organizations in Washington, D.C.

  • No Child Left Behind: Ten Years Later

    Jan 5, 2012

    PRGS Professor Laura Hamilton discusses what has been learned in the ten years since the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law in January 2002, including recommendations for addressing key limitations as Congress considers reauthorization.


Milwaukee County Executive Chooses 2006 Alum as Chief of Staff— Dec. 30, 2011

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Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele named policy analyst Amber Moreen, a 2006 alumna of PRGS, as his chief of staff. According to the Miwaukee Business Times, "Abele said the appointment of Moreen stems from his desire to make research and analysis the cornerstone for decision-making in county government."

Heed Film Lessons on Outbreak — Dec 29, 2011

To assure the health security of the United States, we must be capable of stopping anything a terrorist or Mother Nature might throw at us. Wholesale cuts to public health are taking us farther from that goal, writes PRGS professor Art Kellermann and a colleague in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution commentary.

Vote for Most Influential Research Article of the Year! — Dec. 9, 2011

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In the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's annual poll, two RAND-authored articles are among the 20 in competition for "most influential research article of the year." PRGS student Christina Huang was a coauthor of "Changes in Energy Content of Lunchtime Purchases from Fast Food Restaurants after Introduction of Calorie Labeling; and PRGS faculty Jose Escarce and director of the Economics, Finance, and Organization Program for RAND Health, Carole Gresenz, coauthored "Spillover Effects of Community Uninsurance on Working-age Adults and Seniors".

Brooks on Brooks: Through Little Effort, Great Reward — Dec. 2, 2011

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In a recent New York Times op-ed examining the role of bailouts in the European Union financial crisis, columnist David Brooks referenced PRGS alum and current American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks's Wall Street Journal article critiquing the Occupy Wall Street movement's take on income inequality and what makes a fair economic system.

How the Economy is Affecting Drug and Alcohol Use — Dec. 1, 2011

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Rosalie Pacula, codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and PRGS professor, recently visited London to deliver the second annual public lecture in memory of Alison Chesney and Eddie Killoran, two well-respected drug treatment pioneers who died in 2006. The lecture is jointly organized by Knowledge-Action-Change and the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Pacula's lecture, "Substance Use and Recessions: Insights from Economic Analyses of Alcohol and How Drug Use Differs," examined how the current economic climate affects substance use and treatment rates.

Save Money — Hire Police — Nov. 22, 2011

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The high cost of crime to society suggests that adding police officers may give large cities a sizable return on their investments, write PRGS professors and criminal justice experts Greg Ridgeway and Paul Heaton in a Los Angeles Times commentary.

PRGS Grad is a Keynote Speaker at RAND Foreign Policy Conference — Nov. 21, 2011

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On November 29, former PRGS student Eric Larson (cohort '89), now a senior social scientist at RAND, will be addressing the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at a public event on "Narratives and Strategic Communications in Foreign Policy."

Former PRGS Student's Research on the Relationship Between Natural Disasters and Terrorism is Published — Nov. 14, 2011

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RAND economist Claude Berrebi worked with PRGS graduate Jordan Ostwald (cohort '08) to publish his dissertation research as an article in the special December issue of Public Choice, "Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Terrorism: Do Natural Disasters Incite Terror?" Their working paper was also discussed in FierceHomelandSecurity last month.

PRGS Student Works with RAND Europe to Evaluate Social Science Research — Nov. 9, 2011

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In the September issue of Research Evaluation, PRGS Ph.D. candidate Lisa Klautzer (cohort '07) was the primary author of a paper reporting the findings of a project conducted by RAND Europe for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project examined whether methods typically used to assess the impacts from health research could be employed to determine the effects of social science research, particularly on public policy and the policy environment. RAND Europe director Jennifer Rubin, RAND Europe president Jonathan Grant, and RAND Europe research leader Steven Wooding were coauthors of the report.

PRGS Grad Involved with Public School Reform in Albuquerque — Nov. 4, 2011

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PRGS graduate Richard Bowman (cohort '06) is now a fellow with Harvard University's Strategic Data Project, a national initiative to provide data analysis to education leaders in order to boost student achievement. Bowman, a former teacher, is working with the Albuquerque Public Schools on how to measure student performance. In two articles in the October 11 Albuquerque Journal, Bowman comments on a pilot program to provide merit pay for teachers as well as on the implementation of a new state mandate to assign letter grades A-F to New Mexico schools.

New RAND Report Derived from PRGS Student's Research on New Orleans Flood Damage — Oct. 31, 2011

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PRGS graduate Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04), recently authored a research brief addressing one of New Orleans' most critical challenges: how to make the city more resilient and less vulnerable to future flood damages. Six years after Hurricane Katrina, Fischbach asserts that while nonstructural measures—like incentives for improved construction and land use policies—can cost-effectively make New Orleans less vulnerable to storm surge, additional wetlands restoration and ongoing levee upgrades will be needed to reduce likely future damage from the most extreme storms.

PRGS Faculty and Students Author New Report on Health and Wellbeing in Mexico — Oct. 26, 2011

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According to a new RAND report, Mexican citizens are living longer and overall have experienced an improvement in the quality of life compared to that of prior generations. However, the demographic transition in Mexico combined with the lack of formal sources of income in retirement place many older persons in a state of financial insecurity. PRGS professor Emma Aguila authored the report along with PRGS students Claudia Diaz, Mary Manqing Fu, Ashley Pierson, and with the research support of Caroline Tassot.

PRGS Welcomes the 2011 Entering Class — Oct. 24, 2011

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Each year since 1970, PRGS has enrolled a new cohort of doctoral students with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. Meet the 22 new students in the 2011 cohort who are now on campus and have begun the courses and research projects that will occupy them as they work towards their Ph.Ds. in policy analysis. Learn more about the entire PRGS student body and our newest members.

PRGS Online Has a New Look! — Oct. 21, 2011

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Welcome to the new and improved PRGS website. Now visitors can create a My RAND profile, which will allow you to save the reports, projects, multimedia, and staff profiles that interest you, so you can find them more easily when you return. We will be continuing to expand the information PRGS has online so stay tuned!

Join PRGS at APPAM's Annual Conference — Oct. 11, 2011

Capitol Building Washington, DC

PRGS will be hosting a reception from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on November 4, the second day of the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management's 2011 fall conference in Washington, D.C., which this year will focus on "Seeking Solutions to Complex Policy and Management Problems." Fellow alumni, current students, and industry professionals will be in attendance. RSVP by Thursday, October 27 to Kristina Wallace at (310) 393-0411, ext. 6472 or

Michael Rich named president and CEO of RAND — Oct. 4, 2011

Michael Rich

Michael D. Rich, currently the executive vice president of the RAND Corporation, has been selected as the organization's new president and chief executive officer. Rich will become RAND's fifth president and CEO on Nov. 1, 2011. He succeeds James A. Thomson, who has led RAND since 1989 and announced his decision to step down in April 2011.

PRGS Policymaker Training Program in the News — Sep. 12, 2011

two participants in African First Ladies program

A profile of the PRGS African First Ladies Program was posted today in the UK's Financial Times online. In describing the impetus for the initiative, program codirector Gery Ryan asks, "Why aren't first ladies more powerful and influential entities? Because they are leaders without authority. We want to help them lead."

Sign Up for Live and Online Info Sessions — Sep. 2, 2011

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Want to learn more about PRGS and its degree program before you apply? Attend one of our information sessions at various U.S. locations this fall, or register for a "virtual" session to get your questions about the Ph.D. program—and all things related—answered by current students and staff.

Apply Now to PRGS — Sep. 1, 2011

graduation capInterested in obtaining a graduate degree at one of the preeminent public policy programs in the world? PRGS is now accepting applications for enrollment into the 2012 entering class. The application period runs through January 5, 2012.

PRGS Alums Among Coauthors of New RAND Book on 9/11 — Jul. 26, 2011

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A new collection of essays by experts from the RAND Corporation examines America in the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, focusing a critical eye on the nation's subsequent actions and outlining changes in strategy needed to improve efforts against jihadist groups. Three PRGS alumni and current RAND staff—vice president K. Jack Riley, senior policy researcher Eric V. Larson, and PRGS assistant dean Jeffrey Wasserman—each authored chapters in the book, as did several PRGS faculty.

PRGS Accredited for Next 10 Years — Jul. 18, 2011

students outside PRGS building

The Pardee RAND Graduate School has been reaccredited for 10 years by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Ten years is the longest possible term for reaccreditation, with most schools receiving reaccreditation for anywhere from seven to ten years. PRGS will provide an interim report in 2016 and will formally begin the next reaccreditation cycle in 2020.

PRGS Alum Coauthors New Book on Drugs and Drug Policy — Jul. 7, 2011

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The Economist has favorably reviewed Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know, saying it successfully sorts drug use and treatment myths from facts to the benefit of substance abusers, their loved ones, and professional stakeholders. Mark Kleiman of UCLA coauthored the book along with Jonathan Caulkins of RAND and Carnegie Mellon University, and PRGS alumnus Angela Hawken ('98 cohort), now an associate professor at Pepperdine University.

PRGS Alumnus Authority on U.S. Space Program — Jul. 6, 2011

atlas space launch

In light of NASA's final shuttle launch early this month there has been much speculation as to the future of the U.S. space program. Chairman of U.S. Space and PRGS alumnus Mark J. Albrecht ('73 cohort) shared his perspective in a recent commentary in The Washington Times.

PRGS Faculty and Former PRGS Student on Promoting Psychological Resilience in the U.S. Military— Jul. 5, 2011

Cover of MG-996

RAND researcher and PRGS professor Lisa S. Meredith was the lead author of a new monograph, to which Sarah J. Gaillot ('05 cohort) also contributed when she was at PRGS, which sought to address how though many programs are available to encourage and support psychological resilience among service members and families, little is known about their effectiveness. The authors' focused literature review identifies evidence-informed factors for promoting psychological resilience and a basis for evaluating military resilience programs.

PRGS Student Joins Editorial Board of Policy Journal — Jun. 29, 2011

Russell Lundberg

Russell Lundberg has been named managing editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis under editors-in-chief Beau Kilmer, codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, and Mark Kleiman of the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

PRGS and RAND Research Effort Yields World Bank Publication — Jun. 22, 2011

Cover of World Bank Report – Healthy Partnerships: How Governments Can Engage the Private Sector to Improve Health in Africa

PRGS alumnus Connor Spreng led a World Bank/International Finance Corporation project assessing how governments and the private health sector are working together in forty-five African countries. He was also the lead author of the resulting publication, Healthy Partnerships: How Governments Can Engage the Private Sector to Improve Health in Africa. PRGS alumnus Neeraj Sood, now on faculty at PRGS as well as at the University of Southern California, served as the PI for the RAND component of this study.

New Issue of Findings, the Alumni Newsletter, Now Available — Jun. 13, 2011

Findings Newsletter

The Spring 2011 issue of the PRGS alumni newsletter Findings includes coverage of

  • highlights from student on-the-job training (OJT) projects in Afghanistan—Ahmad Idrees Rahmani's work on counterinsurgency and Matt Hoover's efforts in rural development and governance
  • alumni involvement in the 2011 admissions process, with the Fall class expected to be the second largest ever
  • alum updates—Mark Albrecht's new book on the Cold War space race, Diana Epstein's new position at the Center for American Progress, and Scott Pace's recent interview on the future of U.S. space policy.

PRGS Student Comments on DNA Analysis — Apr. 29, 2011

Carl Matthies

Carl Matthies, a PRGS Ph.D. candidate and former Los Angeles Police Department criminalist, was quoted in an Investor's Business Daily article on crime analysis. The piece focused on LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's use of a 2010 RAND study in support of his claim that there is much room for improvement in U.S. DNA profiling technology and procedures when compared with results achieved by the U.K.

PRGS Student Wins 2010 EPA STAR Fellowship — Feb. 9, 2011

Eileen Hlavka

The EPA awarded a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) dissertation fellowship to Eileen Hlavka, a fourth year doctoral candidate at PRGS. The fellowship will be used to support her dissertation research which uses Bayesian text analysis to measure research on renewable energy technology and assesses whether that research is driven by energy policies.

RAND Military Health Study Wins Award — Feb. 8, 2011

Claudia Diaz

AcademyHealth gave its 2011 Health Services Research Impact Award to the research team that produced the seminal report, "The Invisible Wounds of War." This 2008 study was the first to comprehensively demonstrate the extent of post-deployment psychological and cognitive disorders among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, galvanizing policy activity at both the Federal level and among veterans groups nationwise. PRGS student Claudia Diaz was part of the project team recognized with this award.

PRGS Student Quoted in News — Feb. 2, 2011

Sean O'Neill

Sean O'Neill, a PRGS Ph.D. candidate currently working on his dissertation in health care quality improvement, was asked by Reuters Health to comment on a study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The JAMA study indicated that for-profit hospices are choosing cheaper patients in order to make more money from their Medicare reimbursements, and cited a paper O'Neill wrote in 2008 with Karl Lorenz (RAND/VA/UCLA) and Susan Ettner (UCLA).

PRGS Alumnus Authored Only Analysis of California's Redevelopment Program — Jan. 30, 2011

Michael Dardia

Governor Jerry Brown's first budget entails a plan to abolish California's redevelopment agencies in order to reclaim their share of the state's annual $5 billion in property taxes. The only review of the value of these agencies in their 65 years of existence was completed by 1994 PRGS alumnus Michael Dardia.


Pardee RAND Graduate School and Southwestern Law School to Offer Public Policy and Law Certificate Programs — Dec. 16, 2010

book cover: Handbook of Medical Sociology, 6th edition

Beginning in the fall of 2011, qualified students from PRGS can take courses in law at Southwestern Law School leading to a Certificate in Legal Studies. Qualified students from Southwestern can take courses at PRGS leading to a Certificate in Public Policy. The non-degree programs are intended to provide students with a basic knowledge of law and public policy, and an understanding of the tools and frameworks relevant to each field.

PRGS Faculty Members Edit the Handbook of Medical Sociology — Oct. 28, 2010

book cover: Handbook of Medical Sociology, 6th edition

PRGS faculty members Chloe E. Bird and Allen M. Fremont are editors of the new edition of the Handbook of Medical Sociology. Composed entirely of specially commissioned chapters by some of the outstanding scholars in medical sociology, this sixth edition reflects important changes in the study of health and illness.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Information Sessions — Oct. 23 and Nov. 6, 2010

The Pardee RAND Graduate School information sessions will provide an overview of the Ph.D. in policy analysis, the admissions process, and our degree requirements. In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to hear current students describe their experiences and share their own perspectives on the program. Information sessions are scheduled for October 9 (registration is closed) and November 6, 2010 at PRGS in Santa Monica (RAND Headquarters) and October 23, 2010, at both RAND's Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices. Details and RSVP instructions can be found in the following links.

Research of Former PRGS Student Informs California Education Policy — Oct. 1, 2010

Ashlesha Datar

The dissertation research of PRGS graduate and current RAND economist Ashlesha Datar played a role in passing a California law last month that would require students to turn five before starting kindergarten. California State Senator Joe Simitian sponsored the bill citing the social and academic benefits to children who start kindergarten at an older age, demonstrated by a 2005 RAND research brief authored by Datar, based on her dissertation.

African First Ladies Meet Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and Discuss PRGS Fellowship — Sept. 22, 2010

Cora Neumann of RAND Corporation; Madam Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia; Madam 'Mathato Sebonoang Mosisili, First Lady of the Kingdom of Lesotho; Madam Sia Nyama Koroma, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone; former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush; and Ross Anthony of RAND Corporation

The first ladies of three African nations—Lesotho, Namibia, and Sierra Leone—met with former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush on the sidelines of the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative forum. They discussed various efforts to support the work of the African first ladies, including a new RAND Corporation African First Ladies Fellowship that aims to help first ladies and their staff develop skills for managing an effective first lady's office and learn practical policy-analysis techniques.

Pardee RAND Graduate School 2010 Commencement — Jun. 17, 2010

PRGS Commencement 2010 – click for larger image

On June 12, 2010, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the commencement address, culminating the 40th anniversary celebration of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. During his address, Mullen congratulated the graduates, encouraging them to use their education to lead the changes of the future. A total of 33 doctoral degrees and 30 master's degrees were awarded during the ceremony, which was attended by more than 300 people.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Celebrates 40th Anniversary — Jun. 10, 2010

PRGS will celebrate its 40th anniversary June 11 and 12, culminating with a commencement address by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Founded in 1970 as one of the original eight graduate programs in public policy, the school was the only program specializing in the doctorate degree and the only one based at a research organization. A total of 28 doctoral degrees and 13 master's degrees will be awarded during commencement this year. Mullen will speak about how RAND graduates' analysis can make a real-world impact on national security during a time of great change.

Associate Policy Analyst Meena Fernandes Published in "Education for All" (EFA) Report — Feb. 2010

Meena Fernandes' article, "Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases," is included in a report prepared by the World Bank for the Ninth High-Level Group Meeting on EFA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 23-24. This year's meeting is jointly hosted by UNESCO, the Government of Ethiopia, and the African Union, and will focus on school health programs.

PRGS Student Myong-Hyun Go Wins APPAM Poster Session Award — Jan. 26, 2010

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) seeks to reward and encourage excellence in research by new and emerging scholars as represented among the poster sessions delivered at the Annual Fall Research Conference. Go was recognized for his poster, "Effective Smoking Cessation Programs for Adolescent Smokers in School."

PRGS Student Kenneth Grosselin Receives USAFA Research Award — Jan. 19, 2010

Second Lieutenant Kenneth Grosselin, a PRGS student, received one of the U.S. Air Force Academy Research Awards on Friday, January 15, 2010. Located at the Air Force Academy, the Institute for National Security Studies presents the Major General Robert E. Linhard Outstanding INSS Researcher Award each year to one of today's rising strategic thinkers whose work best represents General Linhard's legacy of strategic vision and active mentorship in building strategic leaders. The award consists of a plaque and a $2,000 INSS research grant.

PRGS Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary — Jan. 18, 2010

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Since 1970, PRGS has encouraged great minds to think outside the box, using policy analysis to not only identify problems but to work on fixing the world's most vexing challenges. Our intent has always been to enable fellows to apply what they've learned at PRGS—to become leaders, to pursue careers that position them to make a difference and to be the answer.

PRGS Alum Jack Riley Becomes RAND VP and Director of NSRD — Jan. 11, 2010

PRGS alum and national security researcher Jack Riley has been appointed vice president and director of the RAND National Security Research Division, RAND Corporation President and CEO James A. Thomson announced today. The division conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, defense and intelligence agencies, allied foreign governments and foundations. "National security is one of the fields for which RAND is best known for providing nonpartisan, evidence-based public policy analysis," Thomson said. "Jack Riley's deep experience in research leadership across a broad range of policy issues will be especially valuable as he takes on this new assignment."


PRGS Alum Jack Riley Becomes RAND VP and Director of NSRD — Nov. 18, 2009

Effective January 15, 2010, K. Jack Riley will be promoted to vice president and director of RAND's National Security Research Division and director of the National Defense Research Institute, the federally-funded research and development center that RAND operates for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

Information Sessions on the PRGS PhD in Policy Analysis — Nov. 4, 2009

The Pardee RAND Graduate School is providing information sessions on their PhD Program in Policy Analysis. The sessions will be conducted at the RAND Corporation offices in Santa Monica, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. Each session will provide an overview of the program and the admissions process, and will give attendees a chance to hear current students describe their experience and share their own perspectives on the program.

PRGS Fellow Teams with RAND Researcher on Dietary Salt Study — Sep. 11, 2009

PRGS doctoral fellow, Kartika Palar, along with Roland Sturm, co-authored an important study, "Potential Societal Savings From Reduced Sodium Consumption in the U.S. Adult Population". The article, which appeared in American Journal of Health Promotion provided an estimate of the effect on hypertension prevalence, direct medical costs, and quality of life years (QALYs) saved by reductions in sodium consumption.

Member of the PRGS Board of Governors, Robert Spinrad, dies at 77 — Sep. 9, 2009

Robert Spinrad, member of the PRGS Board of Governors and retired Vice President of Technology Strategy for the Xerox Corporation, died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 77. He was a computer designer who did innovative work in automation of scientific research at Brookhaven National Laboratory. While at Brookhaven, he wrote a cover article on laboratory automation that appeared in the October 6, 1967, issue of Science magazine.

PRGS Alums Partner on Healthcare Commentary — Aug. 29, 2009

Elizabeth A. McGlynn and Jeffery Wasserman, both PRGS alums, co-wrote a commentary on the Health-Care debate. The commentary appeared in the The Tennessean and discussed the ferocity of the national debate over health care and the rhetoric that all but replaced reality. The impression of the article is that all sides of the issues seem to want anything but the facts, which is not getting the essential and important information out to the public and policy makers.

PRGS Fellow Appointed to Argentinean Advisory Council — Aug. 26, 2009

Silvia Montoya, PhD Candidate at PRGS, has been appointed to the Advisory Council for Strategic Planning for the Province of Cordoba in her native Argentina. The new organization is made up of nine prominent citizens from diverse backgrounds. Known as COPEC, it has obtained funding from the UN Development Program to support its activities. The provincial governor, Juan Schiaretti, presided over a formal launching ceremony with his cabinet at the end of August.

PRGS Alum Co-Authors Health Care Commentary — Aug. 24, 2009

PRGS Alum, Neeraj Sood, along with Dana Goldman, co-authored an important commentary, "Fix the Healthcare System (and Fight the Recession, Too)". The article, which appeared in discussed a little-known proposition in the health care debate that states that properly controlled health care spending could generate economic growth equal to 1 percent of gross domestic product.

Co-Ops: A Very Tall Order; Commentary by PRGS Alum Elizabeth A. McGlynn — Aug. 20, 2009

Cooperatives are a very tall order: a new type of organization, never before tested on a large scale, meant to fix the apparently intractable problems of high and rising costs, barriers to access and poor quality care. Proponents can point to the impressive example of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. But how that unique organization might get replicated thousands of times over, so that all of the U.S. is served by the new, improved approach, is hard to reckon as discussed in this new commentary by PRGS alum Elizabeth A. McGlynn.

PRGS Fellow Teams with RAND Researchers on Qatar Labor Market Article— Aug. 10, 2009

PRGS fellow Jeffery Tanner joined with RAND researchers Claude Berrebi and Francisco Martorell to coauthor an article for the Summer 2009 issue of The Middle East Journal titled "Qatar's Labor Markets at a Crucial Crossroad." The article discusses the challenges faced by policymakers trying to deal with the rapid growth of the Qatari ecomony when the native labor force is lacking in the basic necessary skills, requiring the country to rely heavily on imported foreign labor. This is seen as a serious threat to the nation's economic independance and long-term viability. The article provides a detailed assessment of the economic and demographic situation, challenges, and possible policy options.

PRGS Board of Governors Member Awarded Medal of Freedom by President Obama— Jul. 31, 2009

It is with great pride that PRGS announces that a member of the PRGS Board of Governors, member of the RAND Health Board of Advisers, and former RAND Trustee, Joe Greer has been selected by President Obama to receive the Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award from our nation’s government. The recipient, Dr. Pedro Jose Greer, Jr, is a physician and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Florida International University School of Medicine, where he also serves as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society. Another PRGS Board of Governors member, James Q. Wilson, previously received the Medal of Freedom.

PRGS 2009 Defense Seminar Brochure— Jul. 13, 2009

PRGS 2009 Defense Seminar Brochure“New Security Challenges,” an intensive weeklong program offered by the Pardee RAND Graduate School, equips participants with both an understanding of the most critical current policy challenges and the most up-to-date analytical techniques for addressing them. The program aims to give participants both knowledge and tools they can employ upon their return to their organizations. This brochure describes the 2009 program, course offerings, and faculty.

PRGS Alum Discusses Healthcare Reform — Jul. 7, 2009

Kenneth Thorpe (PRGS Alum '85), Robert W. Woodruff Professor & Chair Department of Health Policy, Emory University shared his thoughts on how to reform health care in this interview that aired on CNN Video.

PRGS Fellows Attend PMBC Summer Program — Jun. 9, 2009

PRGS Fellows Sarah Gaillot and Meena Fernandes attended the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Summer Institute (PMBC) for a course on “Behavioral Medicine Interventions” that was held May 26-30, 2009. PMBC offers an annual summer institute to provide basic training to junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows in mind-body science and health and the topic alternates each summer. The 2010 Summer Institute will be on “Basic Pathways Linking Behavior and Disease.” Sarah and Meena were part of a team from RAND that also included Associated Behavioral Scientist Christine Vaughan.

Matthew Solomon (PRGS Alum) Study Featured in HealthDay News — May 1, 2009

Rising co-pays may be forcing the chronically ill from seeking potentially lifesaving medications according to a study by Matthew Solomon (PRGS Alum), a medical resident at Stanford University School of Medicine. His report, featured in the April 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, goes on to say that the problem is likely to get worse as the economy unravels.

PRGS Policy Insight — Apr. 29, 2009

PRGS is pleased to announce volume 3, issue 2 of Policy Insight. Published on a bimonthly basis, each issue will highlight a major public policy challenge in the USA or the world, along with analysis by PRGS fellows and faculty that will help policy makers address these challenges. This issue: "Improving Patient Safety: Addressing Patient Harm Arising from Medical Errors "

PRGS Fellow to Attend ICPSR Summer Program — Apr. 1, 2009

Silvia Montoya, PRGS Continuing Fellow, will be attending the Hierarchical Linear Models course in June at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. She was awarded a fee-waiver to attend the course in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1963, the ICPSR Summer Program is recognized throughout the world as the preeminent forum for basic and advanced training in the methodologies and technologies of social science research.

Larry Picus (PRGS Alum) Featured in ABC News Article on LAUSD Class Size — Mar. 31, 2009

One of the big worries of the California budget crisis is schools being forced to increase class sizes. The Los Angeles Unified School District is already making plans for that. High schools will be the hardest hit. In an article and video on the Los Angeles ABC News web site, Professor Larry Picus (PRGS Alum) of the USC Rossier School of Education says that the move could undo the gains the state has seen in test scores of the last several years.

PRGS Fellow Provides Commentary on Congressional Approval of AmeriCorps Expansion — Mar. 25, 2009

The Senate should pass bills expanding AmeriCorps and other national service programs, writes PRGS continuing fellow Diana Epstein in a commentary that appeared in the online edition of the Santa Monica Daily Press. The bills provide greater volunteer opportunities, public service activities, and careers. "Americans are ready to serve," Epstein wrote. "Applications to AmeriCorps in February were triple the number they were over the same month last year." Epstein is currently completing her dissertation on "Evaluating the Long-term Impacts of AmeriCorps Service on Participants".

PRGS Fellow awarded 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award — Mar. 2, 2009

Meena Fernandes received award

Meena Fernandes, PRGS Fellow, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award of the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB). The selection was based on her paper, The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Obesity Trajectory, co-authored with Roland Sturm, Senior Economist and PRGS Faculty.

Pictured are Chloe Bird, RAND Senior Behavioral/Social Scientist and PRGS faculty, congratulating Meena Fernandes on receiving the 2009 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award.

The Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award recognizes early-career health behavior research that is innovative and rigorous, and makes an important contribution to science or practice. The award will be presented on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the AAHB conference.

PRGS Policy Insight — Feb. 29, 2009

PRGS is pleased to announce volume 3, issue 1 of Policy Insight. Published on a bimonthly basis, each issue will highlight a major public policy challenge in the USA or the world, along with analysis by PRGS fellows and faculty that will help policy makers address these challenges. This issue: "Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers in the United States: Business Practices and Investor Understanding"

Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies — Feb. 23, 2009

PRGS Professor Chloe Bird's book, "Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies," was recently reviewed in the March 2009 issue of CHOICE Reviews Online and both the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. The book focuses on gender differences in health and aims to reshape the research agenda with regard to differences between men's and women's health.

Arthur Brooks (PRGS alumni) heads the American Enterprise Institute — Jan. 30, 2009

Arthur C. Brooks has been selected as the 11th president of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. AEI, founded in 1943, is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. Dr. Brooks' PRGS dissertation, Arts, Markets, and Governments - A Study in Cultural Policy Analysis, was submitted 7/11/98.

PRGS Findings — Jan. 12, 2009

The latest issue of Findings introduces the new dean Susan L. Marquis, provides highlights from the Politics Aside weekend, lists recent dissertations, and more. Findings is the alumni newsletter.

PRGS Fellow and Alumni contribute to article on China and India education and health — Jan. 9, 2009

PRGS alumni, Sai Ma and Neeraj Sood and PRGS Fellow, Ying Liu contributed to the article "Asian Exchange: China and India Trade Lessons in Education and Health" that appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of RAND Review. The article was picked up by the USC US-China Institute in their January 8, 2009 issue of the US-China Today Daily Update. Key to the article is since China and India account for more than 40 percent of the world population, the health policy choices of these two countries not only will affect their citizens but also could give policymakers around the world ideas for coping with their own health care challenges.

PRGS Fellow awarded Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Award — Jan. 9, 2009

Meg Blume-Kohout, PRGS Fellow, has been awarded a Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Award in the amount of $20,000. Her dissertation proposal, "Assessing the Impact of Federal R&D Funding on Pharmaceutical Innovation " was selected by a panel of reviewers as one of the fifteen best submissions from among a very competitive pool of more than one hundred proposals.

Alcohol Environments and Disparities in Exposure Associated with Adolescent Drinking in California — Jan. 6, 2009

An article on the sociodemographic disparities in alcohol environments and their relationship with adolescent drinking co-authored by PRGS alumnus Khoa Truong '07 and Professor Roland Sturm was published by the American Journal of Public Health, and has been picked up by internet news sites in the United States. Truong and Sturm found that alcohol outlets are concentrated in disadvantaged neighborhoods and can contribute to adolescent drinking.




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