p201210_01, students, prgs

Pardee RAND Dissertations

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


  • 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.

  • Achievement Effects of Five Comprehensive School Reform Designs Implemented in Los Angeles Unified School District October 24, 2005

    Bryce Mason

    Estimates achievement effects as measured by the Stanford Achievement Test 9 for students in grades 1–11 who participated in comprehensive school reform in the Los Angeles Unified School District between 1999 and 2002. The author found no consistent evidence that earlier intervention caused larger gains, but there was strong evidence that longer participation caused larger effects.

  • The Effect of Cost-Sharing on the Utilization of Prescription Drugs for Chronically Ill Patients October 24, 2005

    Matthew D. Solomon

    Explores the effect of cost-sharing on the initiation of and adherence to prescription drug therapy for hypertension. Results suggest that a significant portion of the reduction in prescription drug utilization that is mediated by cost may occur when patients make the initial decision to pharmacologically treat a newly diagnosed chronic condition but that cost-sharing may be less influential on utilization once patients have initiated therapy.

  • Astronomical Odds: A Policy Framework for the Cosmic Impact Hazard September 12, 2005

    Geoffrey Sommer

    Addresses the cosmic impact hazard (the threat to the Earth posed by asteroids and comets) as an extreme example of a low-probability, high-consequence policy problem and presents a comprehensive framework for dealing with the technical and societal uncertainties surrounding the impact hazard. The author assesses the robustness of a proposed policy intervention: social reassurance by means of a demonstrated mitigation capability.

  • Recalibrating Alliance Contributions: Changing Policy Environment and Military Alliances June 30, 2005

    Tatsuro Yoda

    Develops an analytic framework for exploring ways to encourage contributions from U.S. allies, with specific reference to Japan’s Host Nation Support program (HNS) for the U.S. Forces in Japan. The author examines the history of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the future of the alliance, looking particularly at the next Special Measures Agreement for the HNS in 2006.

  • The Impact of the Information Revolution on Policymakers’ Use of Intelligence Analysis June 3, 2005

    Lorne Teitelbaum

    Compares how policymakers’ use of intelligence to support the policymaking process has changed. The intelligence community’s Intelink nework, the Internet, and web-based sources of analysis have not become major contributors to the policymaking process. Policymakers still find intelligence analysis useful for supporting the policymaking process, especially when it is conveyed through a one-on-one intelligence briefing.

  • Financing Terror: An Analysis and Simulation to Affect Al Qaeda's Financial Infrastructures June 2, 2005

    Steve Kiser

    Develops a model that enables policymakers and analysts to understand how terrorist financial networks work, how current policies targeting those networks will affect them, and how terrorist organizations are likely to react to those policies. The author makes a series of recommendations and suggests areas for further information use or collection.

  • Swarming and the Future of Warfare May 16, 2005

    Sean J. A. Edwards

    Swarming occurs when several military units conduct a convergent attack on a target from multiple axes. The author derives a simple theory that explains the phenomenology of swarming. He considers command and control, communications, home field advantage, surprise, fratricide, and training and identifies the primary variables most important to successful swarming.

  • Effective Capital Provision within Government: Methodologies for Right-Sizing Base Infrastructure May 4, 2005

    Joshua Weed

    Proposes a new, more efficient way to address how much capital infrastructure the U.S. Air Force should own rather than lease through other providers. The author develops an inventory simulation model that determines the least-cost inventory (capacity) and allows decisionmakers to evaluate “what-if” policy scenarios that affect lodging.

  • Policy Options for Interventions in Failing Schools March 23, 2005

    Connor Spreng

    Discusses the theory underlying various responses to the problem of failing schools, including parental choice and government interventions. Examines New Zealand’s experience with failing schools and intervention strategies in underperforming schools in California; applies the results of the research to education reform in the Emirate of Qatar.


  • Venture Capital Investments in China January 1, 2004

    Feng Zeng

    Venture capital investments in China have been growing fast in the past decade. International venture capitalists dominate China's venture capital industry because of the restrictions on raising funds within China. This dissertation examines the history of venture capital investment in China in the 1990s by means of two unique data sets collected by the author. It finds that Chinese government policies have had an important influence on the pattern of venture capital investments.

  • Gearing Up and Getting There: Improving Local Response to Chemical Terrorism January 1, 2004

    Brian Houghton

    Identifies policies and organizational options at the local level that could save lives and reduce injuries from an act of chemical terrorism, using Los Angeles as a case study. Presents low-cost options in equipment, training, organization and doctrine that could improve the response to a chemical terrorist event, and examines these options in terms of budget considerations in Los Angeles

  • Effects of Trial Design on Participation and Costs in Clinical Trials With an Examination of Cost Analysis Methods and Data Sources January 1, 2004

    Meredith L. Kilgore

    Explores the problem of representativeness in medical trial design by investigating the causes of the underrepresentation of older adults in clinical cancer trials. The author compares sources of data and modeling approaches for estimating treatment costs in health services research and estimates the impact of clinical trial participation on prescription drug costs.

  • Estimating the Effects of Pharmaceutical Innovations on Patients' Employment Outcomes January 1, 2004

    Yuhua Bao

    Current approaches to evaluating the benefits of medical technologies often ignore employment-related benefits, thus undervaluing interventions that improve functioning and productivity for those of working age. The author developed a model showing that the observed incremental labor supply is a result of more effective treatment and of other factors, and conducted two empirical studies to estimate the effects of treatment on patients' employment.

  • An Investigation of the Factors Influencing Breastfeeding Patterns January 1, 2004

    Alison Jacknowitz

    Research indicates that both mothers and children benefit from breastfeeding. However, a large fraction of mothers do not breastfeed or breastfeed for a shorter period than recommended, and some groups of mothers are more likely to breastfeed than others. This dissertation seeks to understand these breastfeeding patterns by investigating demographic changes, welfare work requirements, and workplace characteristics.