Clair Brown

Clair Brown
Emeritus Professor Of Economics, Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society
Labor markets and wages

Dr. Clair Brown is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof Brown is a past Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations (IRLE) at UCB. Clair has published research on many aspects of how economies function, including high-tech industries, development engineering, the standard of living, wage determination, poverty, and unemployment. Her books include American Standards of Living, 1919-1988, and Chips and Change: How crisis reshapes the semiconductor industry. Clair’s contributions to the field of Labor Economics were recognized by the Labor and Employment Relations Association, who awarded her their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Clair’s economic approach and life as an economist is published in Eminent Economists II – Their Life and Work Philosophies (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Clair Brown was educated and Wellesley College and the University of Maryland, where she completed her PhD in economics in 1973. She arrived at Berkeley that same year as an assistant professor. Her current research focuses on the global labor market for high-tech workers, the global competitive advantage of China, India and the US in the semiconductor industry, and the impact of education and immigration policies on engineers’ employment and earnings. Professor Brown is the Director of the Center for Work, Technology and Society, and past Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations.

In 2013 at UC Berkeley, Clair helped create a new program called Development Engineering, for graduate students in engineering and economics to develop their multidisciplinary skills for designing, building, and evaluating new technologies to help developing regions.

In 2011, Clair began a field, Buddhist Economics, at UC Berkeley. Buddhist economics integrates global sustainability and shared prosperity to provide a holistic model of economic behavior and well-being. Her book Buddhist Economics: An enlightened approach to the dismal science will be published by Bloomsbury Press in January 2017. One aspect of this work is the development of a measure of economic performance based on the quality of life, and to estimate it for state of California. This index integrates measurements of inequality and environmental degradation as well as value of nonmarket activities and consumption to provide an inclusive measurement of sustainable economic performance to guide policy.