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A post-Great Recession overview of labor market trends in the United States and California

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | July 23, 2018

Full-brief here It has been well over a decade since the economy tumbled into what is now dubbed the Great Recession — reflecting the historical severity and swiftness of the downturn. The recession officially lasted from December 2007 through June 2009. However, the economy under-performed for nearly a decade as the output gap — GDP … Continue reading »

What does Daylight Saving Time really save?

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | July 2, 2018

DST can coordinate societal shifts to better use of daylight…but at a cost. You would think most states have more pressing issues to confront these days, but legislation on the measurement of time is one of the perennial favorites in our nation’s legislatures. There is always someone passionate about the horrible costs or enormous benefits … Continue reading »

Rapid innovations in agrifood supply chains

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 19, 2018

We hosted our third Agrifood Supply Chain Conference on April 18 and 19 together with Solidaridad and other wonderful sponsors. The conference was hosted at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) building in Berkeley, which houses cutting-edge institutions – the EBI and Innovative Genomics Initiative – that create new technologies affecting supply chains around the globe. … Continue reading »

CEOs take to the pulpit on gun control

Kellie McElhaney, founder, Center for Responsible Business | March 28, 2018

You know their names: Emma Gonzalez (age 18); David Hogg (age 18); Naomi Wadler (age 11); Yolanda Renee King (age 9). These young people, and many more, stand at podiums to eloquently, outspokenly and loudly demand tighter gun control legislation from our political leaders following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 … Continue reading »

Focus on the source of most satisfaction, not consumption

Clair Brown, Professor emerita of economics | March 27, 2018

Buying stuff can make you happy for a short time. But you will revert to needing another happiness boost by buying even more stuff. We can, however, replace the boom and bust of a consumption-driven search for satisfaction with lives that are more fulfilling and economically sustainable.

The Trump administration’s proposal for tips will only hurt employees

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | February 28, 2018

Most people assume that when they leave a tip at a restaurant, that money goes to the person who performed the work. Or perhaps the money is pooled with other tips and divvied up among tipped workers at the restaurant. The Trump administration doesn’t agree. In fact, the Labor Department believes employers ought to be … Continue reading »

Who are you trying to fool?

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | February 8, 2018

The most frequently cited result in the entire research literature on overconfidence comes from a 1981 paper published by the Swedish psychologist Ola Svenson.(1) Svenson asked people in the United States and in Sweden how they thought their driving abilities stacked up against other drivers. Most scholars cite Svenson’s result as showing that the majority … Continue reading »

Wealthy investors to win bigly with Republicans’ proposed tax plan

Gabriel Zucman, Assistant professor of economics | November 9, 2017

By Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez This blog is cross-posted from the Berkeley Opportunity Lab and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. The tax plan released by Republicans in Congress and praised by President Trump is a remarkable document in many ways, but most notably in that it achieves just the opposite of its stated goal. Presented … Continue reading »

Disaster and displacement in the Bay Area

Justine Marcus, graduate student researcher, city and regional planning | November 7, 2017

By Justine Marcus and Philip Verma The Bay Area is still reeling from the devastation of the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma counties, which tragically took the lives of 43 people and forced over 100,000 to evacuate their homes. The fire destroyed an estimated 8,900 buildings, and officials report that 5 percent of Santa Rosa’s housing … Continue reading »

Assessing gender and racial disparities in economics

Hallie Jo Gist, economics student | November 2, 2017

The gender disparity in the economics discipline is no secret. For UC Berkeley undergraduates, a glance around the classroom is enough evidence of an imbalance. As a part of the nationwide Undergraduate Women in Economics (UWE) Challenge, we attempted to quantify this apparent disparity. The data collection described below is a first step in this … Continue reading »

California’s real gasoline ‘tax’ problems

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | October 31, 2017

Who wouldn’t like to pay lower taxes and get cheaper gasoline? That’s why there will be a lot of grumbling Wednesday when California’s gasoline tax goes up by 12 cents per gallon. There’s already enough pushback that it’s easy to imagine a proposal to repeal the tax increase will get enough signatures to make it to the ballot. … Continue reading »

550,000 fewer California jobs projected under last-ditch GOP health bill in 2027

Laurel Lucia, Labor Center Health Care Program director | September 26, 2017

Co-authored by Laurel Lucia, Ian Perry and Ken Jacobs; crossposted from the blog of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. BREAKING NEWS: Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced today that he will not schedule a vote on Graham-Cassidy. However, attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are not over. Says McConnell, “We haven’t given up on changing … Continue reading »

GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal ACA worst one yet for California

Laurel Lucia, Labor Center Health Care Program director | September 20, 2017

Co-authored by Laurel Lucia, Ian Perry and Ken Jacobs; crossposted from the blog of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Once again, Congress is considering a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major cuts to Medicaid. Next week, the Senate may vote on this latest repeal effort, led by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham … Continue reading »

Trump swings a wrecking ball at U.S.-Asia relations

T.J. Pempel, professor of political science | September 13, 2017

Few analysts in the United States or East Asia anticipated the speed with which the Trump administration would swing a wrecking ball into the complex and longstanding machinery of the United States’ relations with the Asia Pacific. Yet in its first six months, it is well on its way to eviscerating many of the most … Continue reading »

Canada should welcome America’s ‘dreamers’

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology | August 29, 2017

By Irene Bloemraad and Ratna Omidvar This commentary is reposted from The Globe and Mail in Canada, where it originally appeared in February 2017. We are now witnessing the casualties of new United States policies arriving at Canadian borders. More might soon follow as those who lack residence documents face a grim future and the … Continue reading »

On sexism in economics

Emily Eisner, eeisner | August 24, 2017

An undergraduate honors thesis written by UC Berkeley economics major Alice Wu exposes the rampant misogyny cluttering Economics Job Market Rumors, an anonymous forum.

If someone tells you your kid’s teacher would be better off with a 401(k) than a pension, don’t believe it

Nari Rhee, director of the UC Berkeley Labor Center | July 21, 2017

Two years ago my beloved high school English teacher Mrs. O-W posted on social media, after locking up her classroom for the last time, “It was a happy place. I will miss both it and the kids, but NO MORE ESSAYS!” After 32 years of service in public education, Mrs. O-W finally left what she … Continue reading »