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Findings from Existing Data on the Department of Defense Industrial Base

January 2, 2015 Comments off

Findings from Existing Data on the Department of Defense Industrial Base
Source: RAND Corporation

To demonstrate the potential of existing data to provide information on the defense supplier base, the researchers conducted some illustrative analyses using, among other sources, the System for Award Management, the Federal Procurement Data System — Next Generation, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System (FSRS), and the U.S. Geological Survey. Of these, the FSRS is the most recent and its coverage of subaward dollars is expanding as older contracts expire and are replaced with ones with FSRS reporting requirements. Using these data can identify small-business participation in the supply base as well as the vulnerability of contractors and subcontractors to changes in their federal government prime contract and subcontract revenue or environmental risks. Such information can help policymakers better understand potential risks in the supply chain and better shape industrial-base policies. Adding data on natural-disaster risks can also help identify external sources of supply disruption and point to potential buffering strategies.

Business Bribery Risk Assessment

December 30, 2014 Comments off

Business Bribery Risk Assessment
Source: RAND Corporation

Key Findings

Multinational companies often have inadequate tools for judging business bribery risk; they frequently rely on aggregate, general corruption indexes that may not provide sound information on which to base decisions.

  • The lack of good information on bribery risk can lead to less-than-adequate compliance programs, exposing firms to the potential risk of violating anti-corruption laws, or to an overly aggressive and costly approach.

Business leaders and other stakeholders, as well as the literature, identified specific information needed to provide a balanced and objective view of business bribery risk.

  • The types of information required included (1) difficulty of doing business; (2) need for interactions with government; (3) the relevant anti-bribery laws and regulations; (4) information concerning enforcement of domestic and international anti-bribery laws and regulations; (5) a measure of government transparency and quality, including budgetary transparency; (6) information about a government’s civil service quality and management; and (7) civil society oversight, including the role of the press and media.

Human Resource Practices for Labor Inspectorates in Developing Countries

December 25, 2014 Comments off

Human Resource Practices for Labor Inspectorates in Developing Countries
Source: RAND Corporation

This report examines the literature on labor inspection in developing countries in order to learn how human-resource practices in labor-enforcement agencies influence the performance of labor inspectorates in developing countries. As a supplement to a substantial literature about the advantages and disadvantages of alternative labor-law regimes and the effectiveness of alternative inspection strategies, this review highlights the state of knowledge about the conditions, competencies, and incentives needed for labor inspectors in developing countries to successfully carry out their work. This report focuses on two relatively narrow questions: What qualifications and personal characteristics are necessary for individual labor inspectors in developing countries to perform their jobs well, and what human-resource policies are important for creating an inspectorate with the necessary skills and enabling the inspectorate to function effectively?

The Cost Savings Potential of Biosimilar Drugs in the United States

December 16, 2014 Comments off

The Cost Savings Potential of Biosimilar Drugs in the United States
Source: RAND Corporation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to release final regulations outlining lower-cost approval pathway requirements for so-called biosimilar drugs. The introduction of biosimilars is expected to reduce prices, albeit to a lesser degree than small-molecule generics. This Perspective combines prior research and recent data to estimate cost savings in the U.S. market. We predict that biosimilars will lead to a $44.2 billion reduction in direct spending on biologic drugs from 2014 to 2024, or about 4 percent of total biologic spending over the same period, with a range of $13 billion to $66 billion. While our estimate uses recent data and transparent assumptions, we caution that actual savings will hinge on the specifics of the final FDA regulations and on the level of competition.

An Assessment of the Present and Future Labor Market in the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

December 15, 2014 Comments off

An Assessment of the Present and Future Labor Market in the Kurdistan Region — Iraq
Source: RAND Corporation

The study addresses the question of how the Kurdistan Regional Government can improve the private-sector labor market in the Kurdistan Region — Iraq (KRI). Doing so will involve creating mechanisms by which job-seekers can develop the right skills and find employers who will hire them, employers can find the employees they need, and the government can create an enabling environment in which the best matches between job-seekers and employers can be made. The study estimates the likely number and education levels of new job-seekers through 2020. It conducts an original, scientific survey to learn about employer perceptions of skill gaps in the KRI. Then, it investigates sectoral employment growth in comparison economies to identify promising growth sectors. Finally, it outlines policy steps for the government to take to improve the functioning of the private-sector labor market.

Designing Efficient Systematic Reviews Using Economical Allocation, Creation and Synthesis of Medical Evidence

December 4, 2014 Comments off

Designing Efficient Systematic Reviews Using Economical Allocation, Creation and Synthesis of Medical Evidence
Source: RAND Corporation

Medical literature and the actions of policymakers have emphasized the importance of evidence-based medicine in recent years, but basing clinical practice on an exploding base of evidence is challenging. Systematic reviews, which are very resource-intensive, are a crucial channel in the pathway from medical literature to clinical practice. This thesis begins by estimating the value of one systematic review, finding that synthesized evidence regarding treatments to prevent osteoporotic fractures generated a net benefit of approximately $450M. Next, the time taken to screen articles in systematic reviews is analyzed, showing that user interface changes can result in significant reductions in resource requirements. Presenting multiple articles on one screen while reviewing titles leads to a seven-fold reduction in time taken per article. Experience and mental state are also related to screening times, with abstracts reviewed at ideal session lengths requiring 33% less time than those at the beginning of a session.

To further increase the speed at which articles can be screened and decrease the cost of preparing systematic reviews, machine learning techniques allow avoidance of up to 80% of articles. When updating an existing review, savings are increased by utilizing the information present in original screening decisions to train the machine learning model. Finally, implementation issues are addressed, paying attention to technical, organizational, and institutional challenges and opportunities.

Premiums and Stability in the Individual Health Insurance Market: The Effects of Young Adult Enrollment and Subsidies

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Premiums and Stability in the Individual Health Insurance Market: The Effects of Young Adult Enrollment and Subsidies
Source: RAND Corporation

Key Findings

  • Eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s premium tax credits would substantially increase premiums and reduce overall enrollment in the individual market.
  • Reduced enrollment of young adults in the individual health insurance market would lead to modest premium increases.
  • Alternative types of subsidies — such as vouchers — could cause premiums to become more sensitive to the age mix of enrollees.
  • Eliminating the individual mandate would cause small increases in premiums but large declines in enrollment.

See also: Assessing Alternative Modifications to the Affordable Care Act: Impact on Individual Market Premiums and Insurance Coverage

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