Pardee RAND Dissertations

p201210_01, students, prgs

All Pardee RAND students complete a policy-relevant dissertation aimed at tackling the most pressing policy issues facing the world. Many Pardee RAND dissertations are partially- or fully-funded through endowed dissertation awards and other prizes.

Dissertations by Date



  • An International Comparison of Obesity in Older Adults: Effects and Risk Factors November 16, 2006

    Tatiana Andreyeva

    Drawing from nationally representative samples of the non-institutionalized populations ages 50 and above in ten European countries, this dissertation examines two issues related to obesity in older Europeans: effects of excessive body weight on health, utilization of medical care, and labor force participation; and risk factors for obesity and environmental and societal variation across European countries.

  • Aircraft Modifications: Assessing the Current State of Air Force Aircraft Modifications and the Implications for Future Military Capability November 1, 2006

    Owen J. Hill

    This dissertation describes the current complex Air Force aircraft modification policy in a succinct yet thorough manner, and uses this understanding to direct a quantitative analysis in an attempt to refine future policy to better serve Air Force needs.

  • Assessing the Effects of Parental Decisions About School Type and Involvement on Early Elementary Education October 31, 2006

    Maria Teresa V. Taningco

    This study examines how school choice and greater parental involvement affect elementary-level student achievement. The author found that academic expectations by parents for their children and children’s reading at home both have robust correlations with reading and math scores, but active school involvement by parents has no correlation with reading scores and very little association with math scores.

  • Caring for Depression and Comorbid Pain: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey and the Healthcare for Communities Survey October 19, 2006

    Haijun Tian

    Depression that occurs along with painful physical symptoms has not been fully understood. The interaction between depression and pain and its impact on the labor market, disability, and financial aspects of health insurance and medication costs among Americans ages 55 to 65, examined here, found that depression and comorbid pain leads to worse labor markets and worse financial, insurance, and disability outcomes compared to depression alone.

  • Governance and Foreign Aid Allocation September 21, 2006

    Kamiljon T. Akramov

    Each year donors transfer tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid to developing countries. This dissertation examines the role of donors’ aid allocation policies in ensuring aid effectiveness. The author unravels the critical heterogeneous impacts of governance and different aid categories on development outcomes.

  • Multi-Attribute Strategy and Performance Architectures in R&D: The Case of The Balanced Scorecard September 11, 2006

    Athar Osama

    Although the Balanced Scorecard is a popular performance measurement and management framework, it has not been well received in research and development (R&D) settings. This research asks whether R&D organizations differ, whether the Balanced Scorecard is appropriate for R&D organizations, and how it might be modified before being applied in an R&D setting.

  • Ignoring the Innocent: Non-combatants in Urban Operations and in Military Models and Simulations August 10, 2006

    Yuna Huh Wong

    Non-combatants can affect the U.S. military’s ability to meet tactical and strategic objectives in wartime engagements. With little research on civilian behavior in the defense community, and as policy questions on the role of civilians in wartime grow in importance, this dissertation assesses methods for modeling large numbers of noncombatants in a more formal way, recommending a layered approach to civilian behavior, beginning with basic population density and other demographic characteristics, then adding simple and increasingly complex behaviors. This work proposes agent-based modeling (ABM) as a way of introducing agent-based noncombatants into existing models, simulations, and training scenarios to determine the potential to extend current, force-on-force models and allow information on noncombatants to be used in examining urban operations during wartime as an alternative to waiting until new urban combat models are built, tested, and formally accredited.

  • Discrimination and Health Care Utilization May 16, 2006

    Janice C. Blanchard

    Examines how discrimination can affect health care utilization. Minorities were more likely than whites to report being treated with disrespect. People who thought that they would have received better treatment if their race were different were less likely to receive optimal chronic disease screening and more likely not to follow the doctor’s advice or to put off care. Racial concordance of patient and provider did not affect patient perception.

  • Police Effectiveness: Measurement and Incentives May 16, 2006

    Ben A. Vollaard

    Addresses how to assess police performance and how to use performance assessments to strengthen incentives for the police. Suggests a tradeoff between two alternative approaches to holding the police accountable: objective definition of good performance and subjective assessment. Concludes that subjective assessment leaves more room to respond to changing regional conditions.

  • Exploratory Modeling and Adaptive Strategies for Investment in Standard Services to Facilitate Public Service Networks May 10, 2006

    Sungho Lee

    Compares several strategies for delivering common services and finds that complementary modular services improve social welfare by eliminating redundancies and expanding the customer base. The author uses a case study of a proposed investment in nationwide consolidated public safety wireless networks in Korea to demonstrate that well-designed adaptive strategies can mitigate risks and enhance long-term investment values.

  • New Methods for Identifying Robust Long-Term Water Resources Management Strategies for California January 30, 2006

    David G. Groves

    Ensuring sufficient, high-quality water supplies for California will be a great challenge for water resource managers. This dissertation documents the development and use of a model to generate quantitative scenarios of future water demand in California and applies a new analytic method for decisionmaking under uncertainty to the water supply and demand management challenge facing Southern California.


  • The Cost and Health Effects of Prescription Drug Coverage and Utilization in the Medicare Population November 18, 2005

    Baoping Shang

    Cost estimates for the Medicare prescription drug coverage do not account for the potential offset by savings on other medical services. To estimate these savings, the author examines the effects of Medigap prescription drug benefit on elderly prescription drug spending, Medicare Part A spending, and Medicare Part B spending. Results suggest that a $1 increase in prescription drug spending is associated with $1.63–$2.05 reduction in Medicare spending.

  • Zeroing In: A Capabilities-based Alternative to Precision Guided Munitions Planning November 9, 2005

    Sam Loeb

    Uses the methodologies of exploratory modeling and robust planning to create a capabilities-based framework for the analysis of purchasing decisions for precision guided munitions. Combining both methodologies makes it possible to create improved and flexible munitions portfolios that perform well across a variety of possible futures while operating within an economic framework.

  • The Costs of Aging Aircraft: Insights from Commercial Aviation November 7, 2005

    Matthew C. Dixon

    Aging aircraft are a primary concern to the Air Force. Understanding the impact of aircraft age on maintenance costs is critical to “repair versus replace” decisions. This dissertation uses annual commercial aircraft fleet data, combined with age information from the Boeing Company, to provide a unique view of the cost to maintain commercial fleets.