Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Faculty

  • With Child Migrants Set to Become Students, Educators Must Prepare

    Between 70,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end, writes Professor Robert Bozick. Lost in an intensifying debate over U.S. immigration policy is the possibility that this wave will spill from shelters to schools. To best respond to this reality, policymakers and educators should consider what research says about educating migrant children.

  • Taking a Sober Look at Legalizing Marijuana

    Jul 13, 2014

    Beau Kilmer

    California and a handful of other states will probably vote on legal pot in 2016. Whether it passes will depend on the quality of the proposal, how much money is involved in the campaigns, and how things play out in Colorado, Washington, and other places that have legalized production and sales, writes Professor Beau Kilmer.

  • What if Distracted Driving Was Safe?

    Jul 1, 2014

    James M. Anderson

    According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for self-driving cars, which could be available in the near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits, writes Professor James Anderson.

  • A Long-Term Strategy for a Democratic Iraq

    Jun 30, 2014

    Ben Connable

    Unfortunately, no strategic option for a unified, democratic Iraq has a good chance of success. But any well-considered option that doesn't involve ineffective killing or risking U.S. lives is preferable to simply allowing Iraq to disintegrate and feed broader regional instability, writes Professor Ben Connable.

  • New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the U.S. and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century, write Professors Rob Lempert and Steven Popper. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives.

  • Are Youth Putting Off Marriage Because of Their Student Loan Debt?

    Jun 26, 2014

    Robert Bozick

    Women with higher loan balances may be less likely to get married than their peers with lower or no loan balances. But as time goes on, Professor Robert Bozick notes, young adults adjust to their post-college financial situation and eventually get promotions, earn raises, obtain other assets, and get married.

  • An Enduring Need for Better Measures of Emergency Preparedness

    Jun 25, 2014

    Brian A. Jackson

    In an era of fiscal austerity, the need for measurement and assessment becomes manifold, writes Professor Brian Jackson. Tied to good government goals and responsible stewardship of public funds, measurements are also necessary to educate the public about what it should—and should not—reasonably expect when disaster strikes.

  • Will U.S. Air Power Work in Iraq?

    Jun 18, 2014

    Karl P. Mueller

    There are many key questions regarding deployment of U.S. air power to Iraq to halt the progress of the Islamic State. Professor Karl Mueller asks, how effective would it be? Would it cause a lot of civilian casualties? Is air power alone enough to achieve U.S. objectives?

  • An Outbreak of Outbreaks

    Jun 11, 2014

    Melinda Moore, Andrew M. Parker, et al.

    Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves, writes Professor Melinda Moore. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries.

  • Let's Regulate Food Like We Do Alcohol

    To help people avoid overeating, Professor Deborah Cohen says the kinds of policies effective in controlling alcohol consumption should be applied to food—standardizing portion sizes, limiting impulse marketing and reducing the convenience and salience of foods most closely associated with obesity and chronic diseases.

  • Debris Poses Increased Threat to Exploration

    Every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic. Earth's orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of debris objects, write Professors Bill Welser and Dave Baiocchi.

  • Fighting Fires From Above

    A newly deployed airborne firefighting resource is helping the United States Forest Service (USFS) battle wildfires, while at the same time providing valuable lessons on the utility and cost effectiveness of water-dropping scooper aircraft, writes Professor Edward Keating.

  • What Drives the Market for Orphan Drugs?

    May 14, 2014

    Susan M. Gates

    The 1983 Orphan Drug Act appears to be successful in promoting development of new treatments for relatively rare conditions. But an unintended consequence of its success is the high cost of specialty drugs, writes Pardee RAND professor Susan Gates.

  • India Votes — and What It Might Mean for the United States

    May 5, 2014

    Rafiq Dossani

    If elected, Modi could turn out to be the politician that India's Congress accuses him of being, focusing on an internal agenda that discourages foreign engagement. Professor Rafiq Dossani says the U.S. would no doubt prefer that he follow the economic course he charted in Gujarat.

  • Legalising Cannabis Is More Than Just a Yes or No Decision

    Any truly honest discussion about how to regulate cannabis markets must start with clear objectives and goals, write Professors Beau Kilmer and Rosalie Pacula. How these markets are opened can be as important as the decision to legalize cannabis.

  • 10 Ways Innovation Could Help Cure the U.S. Health Spending Problem

    Apr 29, 2014

    Steven Garber

    Many studies grapple with how to control spending by considering changing how existing technologies are used. But, Professor Steven Garber asks, what if the problem could be attacked at its root by changing which drugs and devices are invented in the first place?

  • Sending Prisoners to College Will Save You Money

    Correctional education works for states because it saves money and shrinks prison populations, write Professors Lois Davis and Jennifer Steele. It works for prisoners, the public, law enforcement, and the judicial system because educated prisoners are less likely to return to their criminal ways once released.

  • Assessing and Addressing Women's Health and Health Care

    Women make up a majority of the U.S. population. Yet research policies and practices often treat women's health and health care as special topics or minority issues, writes Professor Chloe Bird. The resulting knowledge gaps hamstring efforts to improve women's health care and outcomes even for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women.

  • Restaurant Standards Could Curb Fat America

    Given the high prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases and their enormous societal burden, every restaurant, including fast food outlets, should offer healthier meal options and discourage over-consumption, writes Professor Deborah Cohen.

  • Obesity Epidemic: Standardized Portion Sizes in Restaurants Could Help Solve Public Health Crisis

    Ideally, restaurant food should be tailored and sold the way clothing is, so people can get the exact amount that is appropriate for their bodies. Professor Deborah Cohen says such sizing options should be required in all dining establishments to give people the option of consuming meals that fit.

  • Four Issues That RUSA's Plans for Research Universities Ought To Address

    Mar 18, 2014

    Rafiq Dossani

    The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, or National Higher Education Mission, is the key implementing initiative of the Indian government's 12th Five Year Plan for higher education. Professor Rafiq Dossani says it promotes three policy priorities in higher education: equity, expansion, and excellence.

  • Realizing the Potential of 'My Brother's Keeper'

    Mar 16, 2014

    M. Rebecca Kilburn, Dana Schultz, et al.

    The White House has mobilized an impressive coalition to address a critical national challenge, and used the power of research evidence to begin to structure the initiative. Professors Rebecca Kilburn and Lois Davis write that by drawing more lessons from research, the initiative can further bolster its chance to build strong and lasting ladders of opportunity and success for boys and young men of color.

  • With Self-Driving Cars, Promise Outweighs Peril

    Jan 29, 2014

    James M. Anderson

    The promise of autonomous vehicles is finally near to being realized and the substantial benefits to society in terms of safety, mobility, and fuel economy cannot be ignored. It is not too early for policy makers to begin to think about the challenges that lie ahead, writes Professor James Anderson.