Centers & Programs


Center for Labor Research & Education (Labor Center)

The Labor Center conducts research on issues such as jobs in the green economy, retirement security, low-wage employment, and the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on California working families. The Center’s education and leadership trainings are educating a diverse new generation of labor leaders.


California Policy Lab

A joint project of UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles, the California Policy Lab (CPL) partners with California’s state and local governments to evaluate and improve public programs through cutting-edge empirical research and technical assistance. CPL creates data-driven insights aimed at tackling California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality.


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) aims to expand public investment in the early childhood workforce to deliver high-quality care and education for all children. CSCCE conducts research and policy analysis about early childhood educators and examines policy solutions aimed at improving how they are prepared, supported, and rewarded.


Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics

The Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED) was established in 2007 to focus on wage and employment trends in contemporary labor markets. CWED is nationally recognized for its trailblazing research on the impact of minimum and subminimum wage policies, as well as the effects of the Great Recession, public sector workers, low-wage labor markets, and teacher pay.


California Public Employee Relations

California Public Employee Relations (CPER) is the leading program on California public sector labor and employment relations. CPER covers recent developments and laws relating to employment in local government, public schools, higher education, and state government through its pocket guides.


Affiliated Centers & Programs


The Shift Project logo

The Shift Project

A joint project of UC Berkeley and UCSF, The Shift Project studies workplace scheduling practices at the nation’s largest retail and food service firms. Shift researchers assess the consequences of precarious employment for worker and family health and wellbeing.

The People Lab logo

The People Lab

Launched in 2019, the People Lab designs and evaluates strategies to better recruit, retain, and motivate public servants. Combining insights from behavioral science with evidence from public management and public policy, researchers work with government partners to test workforce improvements.

Opportunity Lab

The Opportunity Lab (O-Lab) is a network of Berkeley faculty generating cutting-edge research addressing the following six areas: climate and environment, crime and criminal justice policy, education and child development policy, health, social safety net and employment, and taxation and inequality.

Economics for Inclusive Prosperity

Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP) is a network of academic economists committed to an inclusive economy and society. EfIP generates and publishes policy ideas for addressing growing inequality, drawing from different domains of economics to provide a genuine alternative to the neoliberal status quo.

California Studies Association

Members of the California Studies Association conduct interdisciplinary research on the past and present of the State of California by a distinguished group of faculty and staff on the Berkeley and Davis campuses. the CSA hosts a series of dinners at IRLE during the academic year; see their blog for a schedule of events.

Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop

The Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop meets during the academic year to share in-progress work and research on migration/immigration. The workshop is affiliated with the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative and open to graduate students, undergraduates completing a senior thesis, post-docs, faculty and visiting researchers.


Archived Programs


Center for Culture, Organizations & Politics

Focuses on how new social spaces emerge, form, and are transformed. The Center supports an ongoing workshop where work in progress is presented and discussed.

Center for Organization and Human Resource Effectiveness

Blended academic with high-level management perspectives concerning problems of organization and human resources management.

Center for Work, Technology and Society Work & Health Initiative

IRLE Director Emeritus Clair Brown chairs WTS, and conducts extensive field work in the U.S. and Pacific Rim.

Work & Health Initiative

Policy research, public service, and community education in workers’ compensation, with projects focusing in particular on the return-to-work process and legal services for injured workers.