Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Faculty

  • A Threat to Immigrant Health Care with Potential Consequences for All

    Oct 12, 2018

    Kathryn Pitkin Derose

    The proposed changes to the “public charge” rule could jeopardize decades of progress towards improved health care access and health for immigrants and U.S. citizens. Prof. Kathryn Pitkin Derose says negative effects may include worse health outcomes, increased use of emergency rooms, and increased prevalence of communicable diseases.

  • A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica last September, Bird and its competitors are now in more than 30 American cities—and are being met with new regulations and increased law enforcement. Student Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Prof. Rob Lempert write that, if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

  • Keeping Artificial Intelligence Accountable to Humans

    Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are often only as intelligent—and as fair—as the data used to train them. Prof. Osonde Osoba explains that, for AI that can free humans from bias instead of reinforcing bias, experts and regulators will need to think more deeply not only about what AI can do, but what it should do—and then teach it how.

  • Understanding the Impact of the Elimination of the Individual Mandate Penalty

    Starting in 2019, the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty will be eliminated, effectively ending the law's requirement that most people have health insurance. Profs. Christine Eibner and Sarah Nowak write that, while declines in coverage and increases in premiums are likely, the magnitudes of these effects are highly uncertain.

  • Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. But the growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable, write student Luke Irwin (cohort '16) and professors Troy Smith and Trevor Johnston. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

  • Suggestions to Help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

    Jul 19, 2018

    Benjamin M. Miller

    The EPA's interest in including a systematic retrospective review element in new regulation has the potential to provide a transparent and well-structured method for assessing which decisions worked well and which didn't, writes Prof. Benjamin Miller. If successful, it could serve as a role model for other regulatory agencies.

  • Politics in India—Not Business as Usual

    Jun 19, 2018

    Rafiq Dossani

    India's ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has suffered recent, self-inflicted electoral setbacks, writes Prof. Rafiq Dossani. But it is still the best-organized and richest political party in the country. Can opposing alliances defeat the BJP?

  • From Florida's Farm Fields, Lessons for #MeToo and Other Movements

    Organizers who want to bring about social change would do well to look to Florida farmworkers, writes Dean Susan Marquis. Those farmworkers took on the low wages, physical abuse, and vulnerability that have long characterized agricultural labor in the United States—and won, changing the culture for the better.

  • North Korea Is Not Like Libya

    Jun 1, 2018

    Karl P. Mueller

    The prospect of a U.S.-North Korea summit has led to analogies between the present case and that of Libya, which abandoned its longstanding quest to develop nuclear weapons in 2003. But Prof. Karl Mueller says a better precedent would be the 2015 deal that froze Iran's nuclear weapons program.

  • How to Increase Participation in Workplace Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

    May 10, 2018

    Christian Van Stolk

    Many employers are actively looking at ways to improve health and wellbeing in their workplaces. Prof. Chris van Stolk writes that increasing employee participation in health and wellness programs requires strategies to address health risks, engagement with staff, and buy-in and support from management.

  • The Human Side of Artificial Intelligence: Q&A with Prof. Osonde Osoba

    May 1, 2018

    Prof. Osonde Osoba has been exploring AI since age 15. He says it's less about the intelligence and more about being able to capture how humans think. He is developing AI to improve planning and is also studying fairness in algorithmic decisionmaking in insurance pricing and criminal justice.

  • Gaza on the Brink

    Mar 9, 2018

    Shira Efron

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.

  • Open Science and a Culture of Health: You Two Should Talk

    By working together, writes Prof. Sean Grant, the Culture of Health and Open Science movements could increase their potential to accelerate the use of scientific evidence to address impediments to population health and collective well-being.

  • The Long Game on Infrastructure

    Feb 20, 2018

    Debra Knopman, Martin Wachs

    The Trump administration recently announced its Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. But with its lack of new federal funding, write Profs. Debra Knopman and Martin Wachs, the plan may not be the best path to fixing America's most serious regional, national and long-term problems.

  • Where Will ISIS Seek to Establish Its Next Safe Haven?

    Many of ISIS's surviving fighters will seek out new battlefields to continue waging jihad, writes Prof. Colin Clarke. By coordinating with its allies around the globe, the U.S. could work to help alleviate the conditions that lead states to fail, making them less appealing as sanctuaries where terrorists can rest, rearm, and recuperate.

  • How Will Cannabis Legalization Affect Alcohol Consumption?

    How will legalization of recreational marijuana affect alcohol consumption? Will drinking go down because people substitute cannabis for alcohol? Or will drinking go up because cannabis and alcohol complement each other? Prof. Beau Kilmer says these questions have important implications.

  • The Diminishing Role of Facts in American Public Life

    Prof. Jennifer Kavanagh and RAND president Michael Rich write that, without agreement about objective facts and a common understanding of and respect for data and analytical interpretations of those data, it becomes nearly impossible to have the types of meaningful policy debates that form the foundation of democracy.

  • How Federal Policy Could Help Water and Wastewater Utilities

    Jan 16, 2018

    Debra Knopman, David Catt

    The federal government could address the root causes of infrastructure problems more effectively than just spending money with the hope that it might do some good, write student David Catt (cohort '16) and Prof. Debra Knopman. A better approach might be to devote scarce resources to fixing what actually isn't working well in the nation's approach to managing, funding and financing infrastructure.

  • How the Pentagon Should Deter Cyber Attacks

    As cyber aggression gets worse and more brazen, writes Prof. Christopher Paul, the U.S. must figure out how to deter foreign actors in cyberspace as effectively as it does in nuclear and conventional warfare. He proposes five steps the Pentagon can take.

  • Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

    Jan 8, 2018

    William Welser IV

    New technology can convincingly fake the human voice and create security nightmares, writes Prof. Bill Welser. Considering the widespread distrust of the media, institutions and expert gatekeepers, audio fakery could be more than disruptive. It could start wars.

  • Why Political Risks May Dampen World Economies in 2018

    The world economy has reached its strongest point since the global financial crisis a decade ago, writes Prof. Howard Shatz. But rising political risks may cloud prospects in 2018 and perhaps beyond.

  • Book Review: 'Eye Corps: Coming of Age at the DMZ'

    Jan 5, 2018

    Dan Grunfeld

    In reviewing a book his mentor wrote about coming of age in Vietnam, Executive Vice Dean Dan Grunfeld says the story is "powerful, thoughtful and engaging. ... The hard and expensive lessons of Walker's youth led to a big-hearted life, full of wisdom and generosity that touched so many."

  • Where Is Assad Getting His Fighters from?

    The Assad regime's defense against insurgents in Syria's ongoing civil war is being provided by forces imported from Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Lebanon and Iraq, writes Prof. Colin Clarke. Most of these fighters are being trained and equipped by Iran. Could this network of foreign fighters help Iran establish a greater presence beyond the Middle East?

  • Jerusalem Embassy Move Sparks Turkey-Israel War of Words

    Jan 2, 2018

    Shira Efron

    President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has exacerbated tensions between Turkey and Israel, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). Economic interests had provided incentives for thawing relations in June 2016, but separating economic interests from political differences is harder today given the mistrust between Ankara and Jerusalem.

  • What the World Can Learn from Chile's Obesity-Control Strategies

    Nearly 30 years into the ongoing global epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases, Chile has taken the lead in identifying and implementing obesity-control strategies that could prove to be the beginning of the end of the epidemic, writes Prof. Deborah Cohen. The country's success on this front can serve as a lesson plan other countries could follow.