Presentation pertaining to the CA Work and Health Survey

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

On January 24, IRLE and the Labor Center will co-host a presentation by Ed Yellin and Laura Trupin regarding the California Work and Health Survey. The baseline survey is now available to researchers and a follow-up survey will be fielded in 2025. Come learn about this new resource. About the Talk Ed Yelin and Laura […]

2023-2024 Weekly Visiting Scholars Seminar Series

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

We're thrilled to welcome a new cohort of visitor scholars from institutions around the world and to once again host in-person events in our building. Join us every Wednesday at noon in the IRLE Director's Conference Room for our weekly lunchtime seminars, where visiting scholars and Berkeley scholars present their research. All members of the […]

Maya Rossin-Slater on Maternal and Infant Health Inequality: New Evidence from Linked Administrative Data

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

About the Talk Light refreshments and reception to follow the talk. Professor Rossin-Slater will discuss her latest research using linked administrative data that combines the universe of California birth records, hospitalizations, and death records with parental income from Internal Revenue Service tax records to provide novel evidence on economic inequality in infant and maternal health. […]

Union Organizing in the Early Care and Education Workforce

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Join us for a UC Berkeley graduate student seminar on union organizing in the early care and education sector. Using case studies from California and New Mexico, law students Dalton A. Valerio and Sam Goity will present several strategies for organizing. The seminar is based on their paper, Analysis of Labor Organizing, Unionization, and Collective Bargaining […]

Author Talk: Richard McGahey on Unequal Cities

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Join us for an in-person book talk with economist Richard McGahey on his new book, Unequal Cities: Overcoming Anti-Urban Bias to Reduce Inequality in the United States. About the Book Cities are central to prosperity: they are hubs of innovation and growth. However, the economic vitality of wealthy cities is marred by persistent and pervasive […]


University of California, Berkeley

Program Venue Transport Hotel Contact   Thanks to all who joined us in a celebration of David Card's tremendous contributions to both Economics and the lives of his students, coauthors, and colleagues! >> Watch the livestream of the Friday, June 3 Session  >> Watch the livestream of the Saturday, June 4 Session Here's a recent […]

White Devil’s Daughter: the Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Julia Flynn Siler’s new book documents the fight against the trafficking of Chinese women and girls in San Francisco during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Siler emphasizes the role of both white and Asian women in the struggle against sexual slavery, telling their stories with a twenty-first century feminist perspective. A journalist and author, Siler […]

The Bargaining Power of Older Workers and the US Labor Market

Workers over age 55 are projected to fill more than half of the 11.4 million net new jobs created between 2016 and 2026. Despite their numbers, older workers’ bargaining power in the labor market has been declining, threatening to suppress wages and working conditions for all workers.Ghilarducci, a nationally-recognized expert in retirement security, will discuss […]

The Relationship Between Union Membership and Net Fiscal Impact

What is the net fiscal impact of an individual's union membership status? What is the effect on taxes they pay and cost of public benefits they receive? Using data from the Current Population Survey, this talk will present evidence on how labor relations interact with public economics, suggesting that union membership has a positive net […]

Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do about It

Do we have to choose between equality and prosperity? Many think that reducing economic inequality would require such heavy-handed interference with market forces that it would stifle economic growth. Heather Boushey insists that rising inequality actually undermines growth in three ways. It obstructs the supply of talent, ideas, and capital as wealthy families monopolize the best […]

Chiura Obata: An American Modern

UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, September 11, 2019: Kimi Kodani Hill, “Chiura Obata, an American Modern”.The late Chiura Obata was a prominent California artist and Professor of Art at UC Berkeley. A Japanese immigrant, he was particularly well known for his paintings of the Sierra Nevada and of the Topaz, Utah camp at which […]

IRLE Fall Open House

Come celebrate the start of the semester at IRLE’s Fall Open House. Connect with faculty, students, policy researchers, labor advocates, and visiting scholars. Learn about opportunities to get involved, from funding and publishing to courses and working groups.Enjoy student artwork produced by Art for Social Change, on view in our newly renovated student work space.Refreshments […]

Immigration Reform in Californian Agriculture and the Tech Industry

Heyns Room, The Faculty Club

The workshop aims to discuss the consequences of both labor shortages and immigration policies in Californian agriculture and the tech industry. Particular attention will be paid to the H2A and H1B guest worker programs and their consequences for employers, employees and the industries more broadly. The workshop seeks to identify policies that benefit all stakeholders.  […]

U.S. and State Estimates of Relative Teacher Pay with a Fun Discussion of CPS Data Issues

The recent surge in teacher strikes across the country brought to attention many issues that concern public education including class sizes that are too large, inadequate staffing of critical positions, crumbling building, outdated textbooks, and teacher pay. Allegretto has been tracking teacher pay and compensation for fifteen years. In this talk, she will present her […]

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Showcase

Please join us for our year-end IRLE-URAP Showcase, featuring UC Berkeley undergraduates who have been working with faculty mentors on research projects throughout the semester.This event provides students the platform to share their research, and our community to become inspired by their passion and hard work.Presentation schedule:11:00 am: Teresa Kabba (mentor Erin Kerrison): The Consequences of Ambiguous […]

Multinational enforcement of labor law: Experimental evidence from Bangladesh’s apparel sector

Western stakeholders are increasingly demanding that multinationals sourcing from developing countries be accountable for labor rights and working conditions upstream in their supply chains. In response, many multinationals privately enforce labor standards in these countries, but the effects of their interventions on local firms and workers are unknown. I partnered with a set of multinational […]

The Effect of Political Power on Labor Market Inequality: Evidence from the 1965 Voting Rights Act (with Carlos Avenancio-Leon)

 A central concern for racial and ethnic minorities is having an equal opportunity to advance group interests via the political process. There remains limited empirical evidence, however, whether democratic policies designed to foster political equality are connected causally to social and economic equality. In this paper, we examine whether and how the expansion of minority […]

Spring 2019 Visitors Workshop

Each year, IRLE hosts visiting scholars and visiting student researchers who come to Berkeley from all over the world to work on projects related to labor and employment. At this workshop, visitors will present research at various stages and receive feedback from their peers and the wider community. For more information on our visitors, please […]

Precarity Diverged: Social Capital, Occupational Attainment and Spatial Mobility of the Chinese Rural Migrants

Arguably the “precariat” of post-reform China, rural-to-urban migrants have long been seen as a unitary population highly unstable in both occupational and spatial terms. For decades, the precarity has been explained from the perspective of state and market: on the one hand, by the institutional exclusion under the Hukou Regime; on the other, by the […]

The Future of Work: Myth, Reality, and What We Should Do About It

Discussions about the future of work have focused on the idea that technology will soon reduce or alter the need for human labor in many occupations. Has this conventional narrative failed to focus on the key challenges facing workers today and in the future?Osterman will offer a perspective on these discussions, and how they relate […]

Inter-Firm Contracting and Wages: Concepts, Trends, and New Directions for Research

An important next step in understanding how firm strategies affect the quality of jobs and inequality in the US overall is to more systematically examine the reallocation of labor across organizations, as a result of firms’ or governments’ decisions to purchase goods and services from other firms. I refer to this process as domestic inter-firm […]

Inside the Black Box of Organizational Life: The Gendered Language of Performance Assessment

Do formal evaluation procedures really reduce bias? As an organizational practice, are they a smokescreen concealing bias or a great leveler that bolsters meritocracy?While organizations formalize evaluation procedures to help achieve meritocratic outcomes, they often fail to eliminate bias in practice. Managers play a key role in applying such procedures, but researchers have been unable […]

Troubled Corporatism: Social Interventions in China’s Era of Public Procurement and Social Management

Against the background of the recent reconsolidation of authoritarianism, Peng will examine the re-emergence of corporatism, yet in a more marketized form, between the Chinese state and grassroots NGOs. Attempting to keep social unrests at bay with limited personnel and expertise, the Chinese local states seek to incorporate grassroots NGOs to establish social service programs […]

The Party’s Over: Former Communist Party Members in the Bay Area

Communist Party members were an important part of the Bay Area’s political left during the 1930s and early 1940s. The eventual decline and fall of the party profoundly affected these individuals and the region’s leftwing politics. Bob Cherny discusses these issues in his seminar appearance on Tuesday, March 19. Now Professor emeritus, Cherny taught American […]

Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area

Room 370, Dwinelle Hall

Dr. Peter Cole discusses his highly anticipated book - Dockworker Power. Often missed in commentary on today's globalizing economy, workers in the world’s ports can harness their role, at a strategic choke point, to promote their labor rights and social justice causes. Cole brings such overlooked experiences to light in an eye-opening comparative study of Durban, […]

The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon

When Steven Burd, CEO of the supermarket chain Safeway, cut wages and benefits, starting a five-month strike by 59,000 unionized workers, he was confident he would win. But where traditional labor action failed, a novel approach was more successful. With the aid of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $300 billion pension fund, workers […]

From Coors to California: David Sickler and the New Working Class

Join us for a conversation with David Sickler, one of the most creative and successful union organizers in the country. Starting out working on an assembly line in Colorado’s Coors Brewery, Sickler went on to lead breakthrough campaigns that transformed the US labor movement and to become an influential labor advocate within Los Angeles City […]

CA Studies Seminar Dinner: Honoring Labor From the Union Iron Works to the Salesforce Tower: From Black and White Film to Digital Images

San Francisco photographer Joe Blum was a boilermaker, ship fitter, and welder for more than twenty-five years.  He was also an activist in the Boilermakers Union.  Many of his photos are of iron workers and other craftspeople working on such big Bay Area projects as the Zampa Memorial Bridge over the Carquinez Straits, the new […]

Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital

In Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital (Harvard University Press), Clausing makes the argument that Americans, especially those with middle and lower incomes, face stark economic challenges due to rising income inequality and wage stagnation. But these problems do not require us to retreat from the global economy. On the contrary, an open economy overwhelmingly […]

Intersectional Histories, Overdetermined Fortunes: Understanding Mexican and US Domestic Worker Movements

What determines whether movements of informal workers succeed or fail? Using cases of domestic-worker movements in Mexico and the United States, Tilly seeks to  build upon the literature on social movements and intersectionality by adding historical analysis of the movements’ evolution through a cross-national analysis of movement differences.Historically, these two movements have been propelled by multiple […]

Are Local Minimum Wages Too High, and How Could We Even Know?

Can higher earnings be attributed to higher minimum wage policies, or industry responses to wage increases?Nadler’s research measures the effects of six citywide minimum wages that ranged up to $13 inChicago, the District of Columbia, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle, employing event study and synthetic control methods. Using aggregate data on average earnings […]

Immigration Policy in Japan and South Korea

Ethnic Studies Conference Room

Immigration policies drastically expanded in Japan and South Korea, but the reality migrant workers face in both countries are not as promising. The general resistance of unskilled immigration and the demands of labor shortages and shrinking populations have been accommodated with ad hoc governmental policies.Under the supervision of Professor Keiko Yamanaka, UC Berkeley undergraduate research […]

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Showcase

Please join us for our year-end IRLE-URAP Showcase, featuring UC Berkeley undergraduates who have been working with faculty mentors on research projects throughout the semester.This event provides students the platform to share their research, and our community to become inspired by their passion and hard work.This semester we will have eleven students presenting on issues including […]

Inequality in Life and Death: Policy and Prospect

Banatao Auditorium, UC Berkeley

Inequality has become a central focus of policy discussions, but inequality has multiple dimensions and correspondingly many potential policy interventions. This mini-conference will consider inequality from this broad perspective, with presentations by international experts on the Berkeley faculty and a keynote by Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Co-Head of Healthcare at Lazard, […]

The Effects of Compulsory Interest Arbitration on Disputes, Wages and Service Quality: Evidence From a Unique Natural Experiment in Canada

Interest arbitration is a tool sometimes used in union negotiations for public workers who don’t have the right to strike. Issues that can’t be resolved in the collective bargaining process are sent to an impartial arbitrator. The role of interest arbitration in public sector collective bargaining has recently been at the forefront of public administration […]

Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area

RSVP's are open for our next California Studies dinner, featuring Richard Walker, "Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Downside of Prosperity in the San Francisco bay Area".The high tech boom has been a bust for many Bay Area residents.  Seminar co-convener Dick Walker discusses this and other contradictions of recent Bay Area economic […]

Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison

In his talk, Western will bear witness to the lives held captive in America’s experiment with mass incarceration. Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison tells the stories of the men and women he met through the Boston Reentry Study, a series of interviews his research team conducted with people leaving prison for neighborhoods around […]

Race and Network in the Job Search Process

Racial disparities persist throughout the employment process, with African-Americans experiencing significant barriers compared to whites. This talk will help us gain a deeper understanding of racial labor market stratification by bringing new theoretical insights and original data to bear on the ways that social networks shape racial disparities in accessing employment opportunities.Existing scholarship points to […]

CA Studies Seminar Dinner: Diane North

 Please come join us for our second California Studies Dinner featuring Diane North, Professor of History at the University of Maryland.  Her talk will be on her new book, "California at War: the State and the People During World War I".Scholars have produced many works on the impact of World War II on California, but […]

Impacts of minimum wages on single mothers

Using an event study framework, Godøy’s research documents a sharp rise in employment and earnings of single mothers after state minimum wage increases. Further, these effects can be shown to be concentrated among jobs that pay the minimum wage or slightly higher – high-wage employment remains unaffected. Panel models find the largest effects among mothers […]

The Distributional Effects of Minimum Wages: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data

Voorheis will discuss the implications of his research finding that minimum wage policies increase long-term earnings of low-wage workers, and possibly reasons for the persistence of those effects. Rising income inequality and stagnating economic mobility have prompted state and local governments to focus on higher minimum wages. As these policies expand, an understanding of how […]

Do Human Capital Decisions Respond to the Returns to Education? Evidence from DACA

Join us for the second talk of our research presentation series, featuring Elira Kuka. Kuka will be presenting her paper, "Do Human Capital Decisions Respond to the Returns to Education? Evidence from DACA", which studies the human capital responses to a large shock in the returns to education for undocumented youth.In her paper, Kuka obtains variation in […]

Graduate Student Summit For Diversity in Economics

The David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Registration  The field of economics touches upon all aspects of life- from an individual's consumption choice to global trends spanning countries. And yet, the economists who constitute this social science are not representative of the very society they study.This lack of diversity in the economics profession, relative to a diverse society, points to inefficiencies in the […]

Seeing Beyond the Trees: Using machine learning to estimate the impact of minimum wages on affected individuals

The majority of teens, the commonly studied group in the minimum wage literature, are minimum wage workers; yet most minimum wage workers are not teens. To overcome this discrepancy, Cengiz uses machine learning tools to construct two demographically-based groups according to the size of the bite of the minimum wage: a high impact group and […]

Labor in the Climate Transition: Charting the Roadmap for 2019 and Beyond

The David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

 The UC Berkeley Labor Center is hosting a conference on September 12, 2018, at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, immediately prior to the start of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.Reason for conference:California and the world must take major steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our climate – but […]

Pros and Cons of Designing a Job Guarantee Program

Policy makers frustrated with slack labor markets, diverging wage and productivity growth, and continued lag in the incomes of Black workers have increasingly begun to consider legislation that would guarantee everyone a job.The right to a job has been part of U.S. policy debates before. The preamble to the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, passed in […]

IRLE Fall Open House Reception

Save the date for IRLE's annual fall reception, where you can meet new IRLE staff, visitors, and students and learn more about how IRLE supports students and faculty.

Seminar on Inclusive Economies for Cities and Regions

Register Introduced by Karen Chapple, City and Regional PlanningChris Benner, UC Santa Cruz: "Inclusive Economies: Conceptual, Measurement and Process Issues"Incorporating insights from ecological economics, theories of social well-being, and concepts of pro-poor and inclusive growth, this talk will discuss insights from the application of a five-dimensional framework for analyzing and promoting more inclusive economies originally developed […]

Perceptions and Experiences of the Formerly Incarcerated with Fair Chance Employment Initiatives

In October of 2017, Governor Brown signed into law a statewide ban-the-box (BtB) policy, which went into effect January 1, 2018. How do policies like this one affect the perceptions and experiences of formerly incarcerated job seekers? Drawing from surveys of probationers, Sandra has investigated what the formerly incarcerated know about the California's BtB policies; […]

Increasing Cal Grant Take Up Through Improved Communications; Administrative Data Linking

Each year, the California Student Aid Commission awards Cal Grants - college funds that don't need to be paid back - to eligible California students. How can we get more students to take advantage of them? The California Policy Lab is testing whether letters designed with simplicity and behavioral nudges can increase the rates at […]

Rebel Lawyer: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights

Fred Korematsu, Iva Toguri (alias Tokyo Rose), Japanese Peruvians, and five thousand Americans who renounced their citizenship under duress: Chuck Wollenberg's new book Rebel Lawyer tells the story of the key cases pertaining to the World War II incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry and the trial attorney who defended them. Wayne Collins made a […]

Reflections on the End of the Safety Net as We Know It

Banatao Auditorium at UC Berkeley

It’s been over fifty years since President Johnson declared war on poverty, and each year, our federal and state governments spend billions of dollars trying to alleviate it. So why are some 45.3 million Americans still living below the poverty line? Why is there still no consensus on what can be done to reduce poverty? […]

The Vietnam War in Mexican America

More than 200,000 Mexican Americans served in Vietnam. How did the war impact the Chicano community, and how do those effects linger today? Tomás Summers Sandoval has explored this question through oral histories of Chicano veterans and community members. He'll discuss his findings, which will be published in a forthcoming book and incorporated into a dramatic […]

Politics At Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists

In 2010, the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision upheld corporations’ right to participate in politics, declaring that limits to their political spending would infringe on freedom of speech. But money is not the only political resource that corporations can use. Private companies have access to – and control over – powerful human capital in […]

Hard Work Is Not Enough: Gender and Racial Inequality in an Urban Workspace

In this talk, Professor Davis will discuss African American women’s experiences as bus operators in a San Francisco Bay Area transit firm from 1974-1989, during the height of affirmative action hiring. Through a series of interviews with these transit operators alongside correspondence between management and union leaders, grievance and arbitration data, as well as litigation […]

Jobs for Freedom/1400 Jobs Campaign

Come learn about the campaign led by the Bay Area Black Worker Center and Justice Reinvestment Coalition that resulted in the Alameda County Re-Entry Hiring Program. The program aims to place Alameda county residents with felony convictions into county jobs. After decades of funding job training programs with abysmal outcomes for placing people into permanent […]

IRLE Photo Exhibit and Spring Reception

Come join us for an afternoon of art and celebration as we show off the Institute's new lobby and conference rooms! As part of our recently completed renovations, we are unveiling a mini-exhibit of rare photographs of the 1946 Oakland General Strike, displayed at the Oakland Museum of California in 1996 and 1997. Also on […]

From Braceros to H2-As: Discussing the History, Present, and Future of Agricultural Guestworker Programs

National Steinbeck Center

In partnership with UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Center for Latino Policy Research, the National Steinbeck Center is proud to present “From Braceros to H-2A’s: Discussing the History, Present, and Future of Agricultural Guest Worker Programs in California” as part of our Ag Forum series. The program will take […]

Workshop: Employment Issues in Agriculture

This event is made possible by funding from the Berkeley Food Institute,the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, the UC Berkeley School of Law, the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department, the UC Berkeley Sociology Department, and the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.Please register to secure your spot. Register Program12:30 pm Registration1 pm Welcome1:15 pm Panel 1: WagesJulie […]

Regulating the Human Supply Chain

It’s no secret that recruiting guest workers can be a shady business. Often, the fraud and extortion that guest workers face are blamed on a few bad apple recruiters, who are targeted by criminal regulation that almost never works. But the problems are bigger than bad apples. Structural forces encourage abuse, from the subcontracting common […]

Working Together: How the Supreme Court divided the civil rights movement and labor leaders

Once, activists dreamed of an all-inclusive movement for poor people. But then came the 1950s – labor began to decline as a social movement, and civil rights leaders turned away from their early focus on labor rights. What role did the courts play in pushing these movements apart?Professor Fisk finds that the era’s labor laws, […]

Measuring Economic Performance as Well-Being (and Not Only Income)

Although economists agree that Gross National Product is not a measure of social welfare, they don't agree on what broader measure to use. Professor Clair Brown will present an overview of the four major types of measures of economic performance, with the pros and cons of each. Then, with grad student Eli Lazarus, she will […]

In a Field of Patriarchy: Gender Politics and Freedom Dreams During the United Farm Worker Movement

Absent in farmworker historiographies are the voices of farmworker women who speak of patriarchal and racialized exploitation in post World War II California. For many, patriarchal power originated in domestic violence, strict gender roles and autonomy-denying social conditions. Using original oral interviews, this presentation foregrounds the patriarchal relations within the Mexican farmworker community, and traces […]

Author Talk: Richard Reeves on America’s Dream Hoarders

Banatao Auditorium at UC Berkeley

We know about the one percent. The ultra-rich. The billionnaire class. But author Richard Reeves writes it’s the upper middle class that matters most. Those top twenty percent of earners are becoming more effective at passing wealth to their children, and – through zoning laws, schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of […]

Coastal Sage: Peter Douglas and the Fight to Save California’s Shore

California is home to 1,100 miles of uninterrupted coastline, defined by long stretches of beach and jagged rocky cliffs. It's easy to take our shore for granted - but its protections are hard-won.Thomas Osborne will discuss his new book, Coastal Sage, which chronicles the career and accomplishments of PeterDouglas, the longest-serving executive director of the California Coastal Commission. For nearly […]

CWED: A Symposium to Celebrate a Decade of Important Minimum Wage Research

It has been ten years since the creation of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED), housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE). Since then, CWED has become well-known for its trailblazing academic and policy research on a number of important economic issues, including the effects of the Great Recession, […]

Does California Fly Data-Blind?

The California Policy Lab, launched in January 2017, is committed to improving the lives of Californians through data-driven policy. Come learn about how the lab began and what progress we've made in our inaugural year. We'll talk about our current research projects and our vision for using administrative data to generate transformative evidence for the nation's largest […]

Asian American Settlements and Suburban Development in Post-World War II Los Angeles

Details forthcoming.Please RSVP to this free event.Co-sponsored by the California Studies Association and the Townsend Center for the HumanitiesThis talk is part of the California Studies Dinners series, a forum for the discussion of California politics, economy, and society that meets once a month on the Berkeley campus. It brings together scholars, students, and specialists from around the Bay […]

Precarity and Dependence in the “Sharing” Economy

The sharing economy debuted to grand claims about its ability to change the world for the good--it would encourage social connection, use assets more efficiently, and be better for the environment. For earners on platforms, it promised flexibility, freedom and the ability to become a "micro-entrepreneur." Ten years in, the reality is far more complex. […]

Breaking the Cycle: Improving Outcomes for California’s High Need, High Cost Population

The David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

A slim slice of California’s citizens use the majority of government services.  At hospitals, jails, and homeless shelters across the state, we see familiar faces again and again.  Many of these people suffer from mental health, substance abuse, or persistent health conditions. Are we serving their needs effectively, efficiently, and equitably?Several cities and counties around […]

Author Talk – The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Wartzman’s new book, The End of Loyalty, details the erosion of the social contract between corporations and employees since World War II, the decline of American labor and the current rise of populism in the United States.Wartzman follows four corporate giants – General Electric, General Motors, Kodak, and Coca-Cola – […]

The Future of Work

IRLE Library Commons

The gig economy has radically changed the way we think about work. The concern is that workers increasingly do not have employers anymore and are facing lower wages, no access to health and pension benefits, exclusion from safety-net programs, and chronic instability in their incomes and work lives. What does gig work mean for the […]

Gold Rush Stories: Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck

In less than ten years in the nineteenth century, more than 300,000 people made the journey to California, some from as far away as Chile and China. Dreamers and eccentrics, they included the first African American judge, an early feminist, and a self-styled emperor. Historian Gary Noy's new book, Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, […]

Beyond “Resistance”: A Bold Plan for Work With Dignity via a Federal Job Guarantee

NEW LOCATION: 2521 Channing Way, IRLE Director's RoomIn 2017, Liberals in the United States are calling for “resistance” to regressive policies. Grassroots movements like the Fight for $15 show a desire for an offensive strategy on the left, but Professor Hamilton suggests that they do not go far enough. Raising the minimum wage still leaves […]

The Long Ride: Film Screening & Director Talk

LeConte Hall at UC Berkeley

class="featuredimage"> Cosponsored by AFSCME Local 3299 and the UC Berkeley Multicultural Immigrant Student Program (MISP) The Long Ride chronicles the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride and follows the progress and setbacks as immigration rights activists seek justice for immigrant workers and push for passage of comprehensive immigration reform. With the Freedom Riders as our navigators, The Long […]

IRLE Working Group Meeting: From Braceros to H2A’s: Discussing the History, Present and Future of Agricultural Guestworker Programs in California

IRLE working group From Braceros to H2A’s: Discussing the History, Present and Future of Agricultural Guestworker Programs in California will have its second meeting to plan for the year.The aim of this group is to organize an event in the Salinas Valley that brings together leading scholars, journalists, and students on the Bracero Program with leaders […]

Transnational Cooperation on Illicit Financial Flows out of Africa

A delegation hosted by the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center.In 2015, Thabo Mbeki commissioned a high level report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa. The report indicated that over $50 billion in IFFs leaves Africa annually, an amount nearly equal to the official development assistance sent to the continent each year. IFFs are of particular concern […]

2017 C.L. Dellums African American Leadership School

This event is co-sponsored by the Contra Costa Labor CouncilThe goal of the C.L. Dellums African American Leadership School is to train union and community members active in the Black community so they can strengthen relationships between the Black community and the labor movement.This year’s program will focus on Black workers and the Black community […]

Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City

Home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, Richmond, California, was once a traditional company town dominated by Chevron. This largely nonwhite city of 110,000 suffered from poverty, pollution, violent street crime, and poorly funded public services. But in 2012, when journalist Steve Early moved to Richmond, he encountered a community that […]

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte: Book Talk with David Bacon

Please join us for a conversation with activist and photographer David Bacon to talk about his new book, In the fields of the North / En los compos del norte. In this landmark work of photo-journalism, Bacon documents the experiences of some of the hardest-working and most disenfranchised laborers in the country: the farmworkers who […]

IRLE Fall Reception: Featuring Professor Daniel Schneider on Unstable Work Schedules in Retail

It’s no secret that the American labor market is increasingly unequal for workers. While work for the highest earners yields ever-higher returns, work at the bottom is becoming more and more unpredictable and insecure. In addition to low wages, short tenure, few benefits, and non-standard hours, workers specifically in retail and food service often face […]

What’s Next for Health Care in California?

Fat? Skinny? Something in between? Please join us for a discussion of work that IRLE researchers are doing on America's health care system. What might upcoming reforms look like? And with national reform so uncertain, what are the next steps for health care here in California? Ken Jacobs chairs the Labor Center at IRLE. His recent research […]

The 2006 Immigration Protests: A Decade Later

This mini-conference will evaluate the legacies of the 2006 marches and the current immigrant rights movement in the United States: its organization, its impact on public discourse, electoral politics and public opinion, and its ability to effectively frame the claims of non-citizens to further the goals of the immigrant rights movement. The participants will take […]

Survival of the Fittest: the Impact of the Minimum Wage on Restaurant Closures

Please note that this event will take place exceptionally on a Thursday.Opponents of minimum wage increases have long worried about their impact on restaurants, which often rely on low-wage workers. Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca will present research on raising the minimum wage in cities such as San Francisco, where they find that higher […]

Spring 2017 Visitors Workshop

Each year, IRLE hosts visiting scholars and visiting student researchers who come to Berkeley from all over the world to work on projects related to labor and employment. At this workshop, visitors will present research at various stages and receive feedback from their peers and the wider community.Light refreshments will be provided. If you plan […]

Absence, Substitutability and Productivity. Evidence from Teachers

It’s not unusual for employees to miss work from time to time. Little is known, however, about how worker absences affect productivity, and how employers cope with absenteeism. We do know that in schools, disruption can be especially harmful. IRLE Visiting Scholar Asma Benhenda will present research, based on administrative data on French teachers and […]

Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence From the Golden Era of Upward Mobility

Please note the change in date for this event.The first half of the twentieth century witnessed an extraordinary expansion of educational opportunity in the U.S. Professor Taylor will explore intergenerational links in educational outcomes during this golden age of upward mobility, using household data from the 1940s. His research shows that for white, black, Chinese, and […]

The Changing World of Work, Societal Linkages, and Political Parties in Latin America: IRLE Dissertation Fellow Talk

In the golden age of Latin America’s labor movement, unions were the main representatives of the popular interest and, for many citizens, unions were their main tie to the political arena. But the neoliberal reforms of the 1980s sent many workers into the informal sector – work that is untaxed, unregulated and, historically, underrepresented politically. Recently, […]

The Dynamics of Household Economic Security Around A Birth

Newborns require a lot of resources. And with the changes in income composition that come with a birth, many families face financial uncertainty. This has implications for children’s health and development, women’s economic security, and public program design. This research finds that households see significant and enduring declines in economic security before and after a […]