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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 »

Early evidence from Seattle’s minimum wage

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | June 21, 2017

Seattle implemented the first phase of its minimum wage law on April 1, 2015, raising minimum wages from the statewide $9.47 to $10 or $11, depending upon business size, presence of tipped workers and employer provision of health insurance. The second phase began on January 1, 2016, further raising the minimum to four different levels, … Continue reading »

The innovations behind the new food revolutions

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | May 23, 2017

People always have been concerned with eating healthy food. In recent years with the growing concern about obesity, diabetes and heart disease, there is a growing realization that foods rich in fats and sugars are “bad for you.” This has made eating vegetables even more desirable. They are packed with nutrients, but with minimal amounts … Continue reading »

Does transit investment displace households and lead to more driving? Yes and no

Karen Chapple, Professor, City and Regional Planning | May 14, 2017

The passage of Senate Bill 375 in 2008 ushered in a new era of regional sustainability planning in California. Now, regions must coordinate their transportation planning and investment with land use strategies that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But what if the hundreds of new fixed-rail stations recently built or planned for California’s … Continue reading »

Learning to frack

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | February 13, 2017

Technological advances and learning-by-doing have made U.S. shale oil profitable even at $55/barrel. Just 10 years ago, shale oil was expensive. Global oil prices spiked to $135/barrel in 2008 but shale oil didn’t and couldn’t respond. Now, at only $55/barrel, U.S. oil producers are going all in, announcing billions of dollars of increased investment, particularly … Continue reading »

The impact of advisers of color in the UC

Tara Young, College Adviser, College of Letters & Science | October 28, 2016

At UC Berkeley, the overall population of staff of color has remained flat over the past 10 years. The more senior the position, the less likely a person of color will occupy it. In Sid Reel’s Wisdom Cafe article (http://wisdomcafe.berkeley.edu/2015/11/how-campus-staff-play-a-role-in-advancing-equity-diversity-and-inclusion/), “The 2013 campus climate survey identified that staff members experience a higher level of exclusionary … Continue reading »

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 »