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Patenting and Innovation in China: Incentives, Policy, and Outcomes

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Patenting and Innovation in China: Incentives, Policy, and Outcomes
Source: RAND Corporation

China has undergone a patenting boom, with yearly increases in patent applications averaging 34 percent. Since 2000 this has resulted in a 16-fold increase in the annual number of patents and according to the United Nations, China’s patent office has received more patent filings than any other country (UN December 11, 2012). Previous literature indicates that this trend is driven by large volumes of low-quality patents. Given this, I was motivated to understand the drivers of this trend, the impact of patenting-promoting policies, and the innovative outcomes of Chinese firms. This dissertation examines these three questions in three separate essays: (1) What are the drivers of this patenting boom, and what implications exist for Chinese technical innovation? (2) What are the innovative impacts of the Indigenous Innovation Policy, which is designed to promote patenting? (3) How innovative are leading Chinese firms?

Internet Freedom Software Tools Developed by the United States Do Not Facilitate Cybercrime

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Internet Freedom Software Tools Developed by the United States Do Not Facilitate Cybercrime
Source: RAND Corporation

Software tools created by the U.S. State Department to encourage the free flow of information online and on mobile phone networks are not likely to be used by criminals to pursue illegal activities, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

While some technologies supported by the State Department’s efforts have the potential to be used for illicit purposes, there are numerous alternative technologies that are better suited for criminal activity, according to the report.

Respect and Legitimacy — A Two-Way Street: Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency

June 22, 2015 Comments off

Respect and Legitimacy — A Two-Way Street: Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency
Source: RAND Corporation

Events in recent months have focused national attention on profound fractures in trust between some police departments and the communities they are charged with protecting. Though the potential for such fractures is always present given the role of police in society, building and maintaining trust between police and the public is critical for the health of American democracy. However, in an era when information technology has the potential to greatly increase transparency of police activities in a variety of ways, building and maintaining trust is challenging. Doing so likely requires steps taken by both police organizations and the public to build understanding and relationships that can sustain trust through tragic incidents that can occur in the course of policing — whether it is a citizen’s or officer’s life that is lost. This paper draws on the deep literature on legitimacy, procedural justice, and trust to frame three core questions that must be addressed to build and maintain mutual trust between police and the public: (1) What is the police department doing and why? (2) What are the results of the department’s actions? and (3) What mechanisms are in place to discover and respond to problems from the officer to the department level? Answering these questions ensures that both the public and police have mutual understanding and expectations about the goals and tactics of policing, their side effects, and the procedures to address problems fairly and effectively, maintaining confidence over time.

Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?
Source: RAND Corporation

Our data indicate significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US in spite of income paths at older ages exhibiting similar declines. We examine several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the factors we considered, we find that differences in levels, age paths, and uncertainty in medical expenses is the most likely reason for the steeper declines in nondurable expenses in the US compared to the UK.

Getting the Most Out of University Strategic Planning: Essential Guidance for Success and Obstacles to Avoid

June 17, 2015 Comments off

Getting the Most Out of University Strategic Planning: Essential Guidance for Success and Obstacles to Avoid
Source: RAND Corporation

Higher education institutions often find themselves in a competitive marketplace, looking to attract highly respected scholars, top-tier students, and donors, as well as to increase their visibility and reputation. In such an environment, strategic planning — which Crittenden defines as “attempt to systematize the processes that enable an organization to achieve goals and objectives” (2000) — can help universities maintain stability in a changing situation and respond constructively to increasing competition or external threats. Our experiences supporting universities in their strategic planning efforts, and literature that has influenced our practices, have identified factors that drive success — and create obstacles — in the planning process.

The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

June 12, 2015 Comments off

The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Source: RAND Corporation

For much of the past century, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been a defining feature of the Middle East. Despite billions of dollars expended to support, oppose, or seek to resolve it, the conflict has endured for decades, with periodic violent eruptions, of which the Israel-Gaza confrontation in the summer of 2014 is only the most recent.

This study estimates the net costs and benefits over the next ten years of five alternative trajectories — a two-state solution, coordinated unilateral withdrawal, uncoordinated unilateral withdrawal, nonviolent resistance, and violent uprising — compared with the costs and benefits of a continuing impasse that evolves in accordance with present trends. The analysis focuses on economic costs related to the conflict, including the economic costs of security. In addition, intangible costs are briefly examined, and the costs of each scenario to the international community have been calculated.

The study’s focus emerged from an extensive scoping exercise designed to identify how RAND’s objective, fact-based approach might promote fruitful policy discussion. The overarching goal is to give all parties comprehensive, reliable information about available choices and their expected costs and consequences.

Seven key findings were identified: A two-state solution provides by far the best economic outcomes for both Israelis and Palestinians. Israelis would gain over three times more than the Palestinians in absolute terms — $123 billion versus $50 billion over ten years. But the Palestinians would gain more proportionately, with average per capita income increasing by approximately 36 percent over what it would have been in 2024, versus 5 percent for the average Israeli. A return to violence would have profoundly negative economic consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis; per capita gross domestic product would fall by 46 percent in the West Bank and Gaza and by 10 percent in Israel by 2024. In most scenarios, the value of economic opportunities gained or lost by both parties is much larger than expected changes in direct costs.

Digital Evidence and the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Identifying Technology and Other Needs to More Effectively Acquire and Utilize Digital Evidence

June 8, 2015 Comments off

Digital Evidence and the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Identifying Technology and Other Needs to More Effectively Acquire and Utilize Digital Evidence
Source: RAND Corporation

This report describes the results of a National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-sponsored research effort to identify and prioritize criminal justice needs related to digital evidence collection, management, analysis, and use. With digital devices becoming ubiquitous, digital evidence is increasingly important to the investigation and prosecution of many types of crimes. These devices often contain information about crimes committed, movement of suspects, and criminal associates. However, there are significant challenges to successfully using digital evidence in prosecutions, including inexperience of patrol officers and detectives in preserving and collecting digital evidence, lack of familiarity with digital evidence on the part of court officials, and an overwhelming volume of work for digital evidence examiners. Through structured interaction with police digital forensic experts, prosecuting attorneys, a privacy advocate, and industry representatives, the effort identified and prioritized specific needs to improve utilization of digital evidence in criminal justice. Several top-tier needs emerged from the analysis, including education of prosecutors and judges regarding digital evidence opportunities and challenges; training for patrol officers and investigators to promote better collection and preservation of digital evidence; tools for detectives to triage analysis of digital evidence in the field; development of regional models to make digital evidence analysis capability available to small departments; and training to address concerns about maintaining the currency of training and technology available to digital forensic examiners.

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