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Monsanto RIP

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 25, 2016

In a few weeks it is quite likely that Monsanto will disappear as an independent company, and become part of Bayer. Monsanto has been an iconic company that drastically changed the plant-breeding sector in a manner resembling the changes brought by Microsoft and Apple in computing and Tesla in cars. Monsanto will be gone but … Continue reading »

Why stories matter: Quantifying the effects of a women’s leadership program in Rwanda

Megan Lang, Human Rights Center fellow and Ph.D. student, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics | October 19, 2016

Think about your values. Think of a time in your life when your actions demonstrated those values. Now think of a story from your life that illustrates those values — a story where you faced a challenge, made a choice and realized an outcome. This is what women in Rwanda do during Resonate’s Storytelling for … Continue reading »

Does Head Start work? A new look at the data

Claire Montialoux, cmontialoux | September 2, 2016

As millions of parents across the United States are getting their children back to school, academics and policymakers are also taking a closer look where it all begins for the nation’s earliest learners — preschool. Does it really work and is it worth the cost? The landscape of our preschools is varied, and is changing … Continue reading »

Agricultural economics as behavioral economics

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 23, 2016

Behavioral economics is perhaps the most important new paradigm in economics in the new millenium. It is based on the idea that people don’t behave rationally, like economics suggests – that they are, in Thaler’s words, Humans (homo sapiens) rather than Econs (homo economicus). In the 1960s and 1970s, Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon and others … Continue reading »

Immigrants, Brexit, Trump and inequality

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology | June 24, 2016

“I’m confused,” my brother emailed me this morning. “Why is fear dictating decisions around the world? First Trump, now Brexit. I need a professor of sociology to help me understand what is going on.” Unlike doctors or car mechanics, people rarely ask for my professional advice. Younger brothers are even less apt to ask for … Continue reading »

The Brexit alarm

Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science | June 20, 2016

I have no special expertise on the question of whether Britain should leave (or “Brexit”) the European Union. True, I did live in the United Kingdom until a bit less than a year ago. And here in California, we have our own Brexit-like debate, with a movement to place a proposal to secede from the … Continue reading »

Having fun while doing good: 20 years of bioeconomy conferences in Ravello

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 13, 2016

The discovery of DNA in 1955 opened new opportunities for utilizing biological knowledge for practical applications. The medical biotechnology industry emerged in the late 1970s with the patenting of the human growth hormone, the Cohen-Boyer patent for genetic recombination, and the creation of Genentech. Scientists were also looking for agricultural applications of these emerging technologies. … Continue reading »

Remembering Yair Mundlak, scholar and leader

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 5, 2016

I have been on a search for leaders ever since I founded the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) in 2000. Presenting real-life examples of leaders and role models is among the most effective ways to train future leaders. Last week in Israel, while participating in a workshop honoring the memory of Professor Yair Mundlak, who … Continue reading »

The future of (not) driving

Catherine Wolfram, faculty co-director, Energy Institute at Haas | May 17, 2016

We have a momentous event coming up in my household: my son will turn 16 at the end of the month and will — if the DMV gods are agreeable — get his drivers license. This has sparked a lot of debates in my family about what driving will look like over the next 10-20 … Continue reading »

The power of supply chains in implementing innovations

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 17, 2016

Many of the products and services we consume today did not exist a hundred years ago (internet, television, modern cars, cell phones, computers, penicillin, McDonalds and Whole Foods). The world thrives on innovation, which is frequently derived from new scientific knowledge, as well as inspiration. Innovations may include (i) a new product, (ii) a new … Continue reading »

Why I still support Sanders’ economic agenda

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 19, 2016

A few days ago, Neel Kashkari – now president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, who was the senior Treasury Department official in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations helping to save the big Wall Street banks – said “I believe the biggest banks are still too big to fail and continue to … Continue reading »

Feeling smug about your solar rooftop? Not so fast

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | January 21, 2016

If you installed solar panels on your roof and feel aglow with environmental virtue, you may be in for a rude awakening. There’s a good chance someone else has purchased your halo and is wearing it right now. In most states (including California) power generated by rooftop solar panels earns Renewable Energy Certificates, which quantify how … Continue reading »

Innovation outposts and the evolution of corporate R&D

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 22, 2015

I first met Evangelos Simoudis when he ran IBM’s Business Intelligence Solutions Division and then as CEO of his first startup Customer Analytics. Evangelos has spent the last 15 years as a Venture Capitalist, first at Apax Partners and later at Trident Capital. During the last three years he’s worked with over 100 companies, many … Continue reading »

Searching for coexistence of GMO and organics in Amsterdam

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | November 30, 2015

I recently returned from a conference on the co-existence of genetically modified food (GMO) with other food, such as organic. The meeting was on November 17-20 in Amsterdam, which was rainy, cold and windy, an unpleasant departure from the sunny and dry climate of drought-stricken Berkeley that I have grown accustomed to. Fortunately we were … Continue reading »

Are we too optimistic about optimism?

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | November 19, 2015

The $10 billion self-help industry offers to inspire us to be optimistic, confident, and therefore successful. We are buying it. Especially in the U.S., we tend to value optimism. This may be because we think we see evidence of optimism’s power all around us: We see winning athletes attribute their success to confidence; optimistic political … Continue reading »

Beeronomics: I’ll drink to that

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | September 14, 2015

This past week I attended the fourth Beeronomics conference in Seattle. The conference brings together economists and other scientists who work on the economics of beer. The first three conferences were in Europe; this was the first U.S. conference. I was excited about the conference first because of the location: I wanted to see my friends and … Continue reading »