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Clair Brown is Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. Clair has published research on many aspects of inequality and sustainability. Her book Buddhist Economics: An enlightened approach to the dismal science (Bloomsbury Press) provides an economic framework that integrates global sustainability, shared prosperity and care for the human spirit.

This holistic approach is based on actual national policies that reduce inequality, protect the environment, and support all people living a dignified, meaningful life. Her research team created the Sustainable, Share-Prosperity Index (SSPI) for 50 countries. Clair is a volunteer with 350 Bay Area Action, where she co-chairs the Legislative Committee to work on passing key climate justice bills in California.

Read about Clair in Eminent Economists II: Their Life and Work Philosophies (Cambridge).

You can listen to podcasts with Clair:

Book trailer (2 min):

Professor in the Department of Economics at Berkeley and author of Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science, Clair Brown, joins the show to discuss the role and importance of economics in our lives.

Tune in to discover:

  • How economics have changed over the last few decades for the better in terms of understanding human interdependence and impermanence
  • How the coronavirus has and will continue to change the economy and the way in which companies operate, as well as the way people perceive value and change
  • In what three key areas countries need to improve their policies and performance

“Most people go into economics because they want to change the way the world works. Most people really do care about…how well people are living…inequality…the climate crisis, the health emergency, and racial justice, but economists tend to think that all of those things are interdependent in economic systems, and that how the economy works can make a difference in all of those areas,” says Brown, as she explains why she’s an economist.

To her, economics is about figuring out how to take the resources we have and work with them to provide what people need in order to have happy and meaningful lives.

She discusses her book, Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science, which addresses ways in which to think about the worldview of how the economy functions and the assumptions derived from this worldview.

For instance, are people selfish or altruistic? Independent from or interdependent with one another and the planet? What differentiates the rational from the irrational? Brown argues that the way an economist answers these questions necessarily impacts the way they think about the way the economy functions.

She provides insight on her view of the effects of the coronavirus, which include a reevaluation of what we find meaningful in our lives, a greater awareness of the climate change emergency (noticed through the significant improvements in air and water quality during the lockdown), and a realization that we really can implement change quickly.

Tune in for all the details and visit to learn more.

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