Dr. Clair Brown is an Economics Professor and Chair of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a past Director of IRLE. Clair has published research on many aspects of how economies function, including high-tech industries, development engineering, and policies to reduce inequality and carbon pollution. Her books include American Standards of Living, 1919-1988, and Buddhist Economics. Clair was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Labor and Employment Relations Association in recognition of her contributions to the field of Labor Economics. 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 began teaching Buddhist Economics seminar at UC Berkeley in 2011. Buddhist economics integrates global sustainability and shared prosperity to provide a holistic model of economic behavior and well-being. Using the Buddhist economics framework, Clair’s team is developing a measure of economic performance based on the quality of life, and estimating it for the state of California. This index integrates measurements of inequality and environmental degradation as well as the value of non-market activities and consumption to provide an inclusive measurement of sustainable economic performance to evaluate our economic performance and to guide policy.
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.