Clair Brown

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Dr. Clair Brown is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof Brown is a past Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR, now IRLE) at UCB, and Chair of the Committee on Education Policy of the Academic Senate. Clair has published research on many aspects of the labor market, including high-tech workers,  labor market institutions, firm employment systems and performance, the standard of living, wage determination,  and unemployment. The industries she has studied in the field include semiconductors, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and high-tech start-ups. Clair headed the human resources group of Sloan Semiconductor Program at U.C. Berkeley. Their research has analyzed how the labor market for engineers has been changing, and how semiconductor companies create and capture value.

Clair (with co-PIs) developed a module for the GSS to study workers' perceptions of the impact of trade on domestic jobs compared to the possibility that their jobs might be offshored based on job characteristics. She is currently heading a project funded by NSF to develop a U.S. firm-based survey that documents global employment by business function, with the firm business units drawn from the GSS and the Fortune 1000. Her books include American Standards of Living, 1919-1988 (Blackwell, 1994), Work and Pay in the United States and Japan (with coauthors, Oxford University Press, 1997), and Economic Turbulence (with coauthors, University of Chicago Press, 2006).  Clair's book (with Greg Linden), Chips and Change: How crisis reshapes the semiconductor industry, on the evolution of the semiconductor industry was published by MIT Press in September 2009 with an updated chapter in the paperback edition (2011). Funded by NSF, Clair (with co-PIs) developed and collected data from a representative survey of U.S. firms that documents their domestic employment by business function and their location of activities domestically and globally in order to study the relationship between jobs, organization structure, and innovation. The NOS-2010 data set is available online (UMichigan). On another project funded by NSF, Clair with post-doc Eric Freeman developed an online simulator to estimate the net cost of university family-friendly policies to retain female faculty in STEM departments.

Clair also heads a UCB team to develop Ready-Made, an open source on-line tool for low-cost effective assessment. This is part of the new USAID Development Impact Lab on the Berkeley campus. Clair is also the faculty co-director (with Prof Agogino in Engineering) of the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering, a PhD minor for graduate students in engineering and social sciences to develop multidisciplinary skills in ethnographic studies and customer/ user needs analysis, hardware and analytical tools, hypothesis testing, prototyping, business model development and continuous impact analysis.

Clair has begun new work on Buddhist Economics, which integrates Sen's capabilities model with sustainability and reducing suffering to provide a holistic model of economic behavior and well-being.  Clair's contributions to the field were recognized by the Labor and Employment Relations Association, who awarded her their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Clair's economic approach and her life as an economist is published in Eminent Economists II – Their Life and Work Philosophies, (edited byMichael Szenberg Cambridge University Press, 2013).


(selected recent)

Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley
Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley (1973-2010)
Director, Center for Work, Technology and Society, IIR (since 1997)
Editorial Board, Industrial Relations (past Editor), Industrial and Labor Relations Review, International Journal of Institutions and Economies
Chair, Univ. of California Educational Effectiveness Task Force (2008-09)
Director, Competitive Semiconductor Industry-Human Resources Program (1993-2006)
Omron Fellow, ITEC, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan (2003-2006)
Chair, Educational Policy Committee, UC Berkeley Academic Senate (2006-2008)
Director, Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California at Berkeley (1992-1997); Associate Director, 1983-1992; Advisory Committee, 1978-1982, since 1997.
Advisory Board, School of Management, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan (2002-04)
Advisory Board, Center for Labor Research and Education, IIR (since 1997)


(selected recent)

Chips and Change: How crisis reshapes the semiconductor industry (with Greg Linden). MIT Press, 2009 (Paperback edition with updated Preface, 2011)
"Clair Brown: Social Norms in Economics and in the Economics Profession," Eminent Economists II – Their Life and Work Philosophies, edited byMichael Szenberg (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

"Quality of Life, Measurements of", in Daniel Thomas Cook and  J. Michael Ryan, co-editors, The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies, 2013.

"Direct Measurement of Global Value Chains" (with Sturgeon, Nielsen, Linden, Gereffi), in The Fragmentation of Global Production and Trade in Value-Added, ed. Mattoo, Wang and Wei (CEPR/World Bank, 2013) 

"Simulator:  Estimation of Net Costs of Adopting Family Friendly Policies for Faculty by Universities" (with Eric Freeman). IRLE Working Paper, September 2013.

"Job Loss, Trade and Labor Markets: New Worker-Level Evidence" (with Julia Lane and Tim Sturgeon), Industrial Relations (2012)
"Yeast Mannan Oligosaccharide Dietary Supplement In the Treatment of Acute Urinary Tract Infections: A Case Series" ( with Michael McCulloch and Richard Katz) UroToday International Journal, Summer 2012.

 "ReadyMade Analysis of Berkeley Scholars to Cal Program"(with Kate Belohlav). IRLE Working Paper, May 2012.

"ReadyMade Impact Assessment: Developing an Effective and Efficient Assessment
Template for Social Enterprises" (with Ariel Chait and Eric Freeman), IRLE Working Paper 108-11, Aug 2011.
"Hospital de la Familia:  Goals and Impact" (with co-authors), ReadyMade report on HDLF Cataract Clinic in Guatemala, May 2011.

Labor in the Era of Globalization. (with Barry Eichengreen, and Michael Reich, eds.) Cambridge, MA:  Cambridge Univ Press, 2010. Selected by the Princeton Industrial Relations Section as one of the Noteworthy Books in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics, 2010.

Economic Turbulence: Is a Volatile Economy Good for America? (with John Haltiwanger and Julia Lane), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. (Background papers and technical materials available online

"The Evolution of Japan's Semiconductor Industry" (with Greg Linden), in H. Miyoshi and Y. Nakata (eds.) Have Japanese Firms Changed? The Lost Decade. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 14-40.

"Making vs. Buying Knowledge:  The Relationship between R&D Investment and Workforce Knowledge" (with Fredrik Andersson, Benjamin A. Campbell, Hyowook Chiang, and Yooki Park). in S. Bender, J. Lane, K. Shaw, F. Andersson and T. von Wachter, eds, The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. The University of Chicago Press, 2008.

"How Good Are U.S. Jobs? Characteristics of Job  Ladders across Firms in Five Industries" (with B. Campbell, F. Andersson, H. Chiang, and Y. Park), in Clair Brown et al, editors, Labor in the Era of Globalization. Chapter 4. Cambridge, MA:Cambridge Univ Press, 2010.

"Offshoring in the Semiconductor Industry: A Historical Perspective" (with Greg Linden), in Susan M. Collins and Lael Brainard, eds. Brookings Trade Forum 2005: Offshoring White Collar Work. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press (Ch. 8, pp. 279-333), 2006.

"Semiconductor Engineers in a Global Economy" (with Greg Linden) in National Academy of Engineering Committee on the Offshoring of Engineering, The Offshoring of Engineering: Facts, Unknowns, and Potential Implications. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2008.

"Managing Creativity and Control of Knowledge Workers", in D. Hugh Whittaker and Robert E. Cole, eds. Recovering from Success: Innovation and Technology Management in Japan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

"An International Investigation of Problem-Solving Performance in the Semiconductor Industry" (with Melissa Appleyard and Linda Sattler) Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2006. 23: 147-167.

"The Net World Order's Influence on Global Leadership in the Semiconductor Industry" (with Greg Linden and Melissa Appleyard) in Martin Kenney and Richard Florida, eds., Locating Global Advantage: Industry Dynamics in the International Economy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Ch. 9, pp. 232-257), 2003.

 "The Impact of Technological Change on Work and Wages" (with Ben Campbell). Industrial Relations (Winter 2002).