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David I. Levine - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

David I. Levine David I. Levine

Professor | Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration | Chair, Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley




Areas of Expertise (3)

Causes and Effects of Investments in Health and Education

Causes and Effects of High Wages, Workplace Diversity, and Employee Involvement

Obstacles to Good Management


David I. Levine is a Professor of Business Administration at Berkeley Haas. Dr. Levine’s research focuses on understanding and overcoming barriers to improving health in poor nations. This research has examined both how to increase demand for health-promoting goods such as safer cookstoves and water filters, and how to change health-related behaviors such as handwashing with soap. He has also written extensively on organizational learning (and failures to learn).






A day at the office in a COVID world


Education (3)

Harvard University: PhD, Economics 1987

Harvard University: AM, Economics 1985

University of California, Berkeley: BA, Economics and Computer Science 1982

Honors & Awards (6)

Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Evening MBA Program


Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Undergraduate Program


Club 6 Member, Haas School of Business

Awarded for teaching excellence, based on student evaluations, each year since 1988

Alumni Scholar

University of California

Omicron Delta Epsilon

Economics Honor Society

Phi Beta Kappa

Honor Society

Selected External Service & Affiliations (6)

  • Chair, Center for Health Research
  • Associate Director, Institute of Industrial Relations
  • Research Director, Center for Responsible Responsible Business
  • Advisory Board, Center for Responsible Responsible Business
  • Board Member: Institute of Industrial Relations Center for Labor Research and Education (advisory board and executive committee)
  • Editor: Industrial Relations

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 1993

2006 – present, Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration, Haas School of Business 2009 – 2011, Chair, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Haas School of Business 2005 – 2011 Chair of the Advisory Board, Scientific Evaluation and Global Evaluation 2005 – 2008, Chair, Center for Health Research 2004 – 2006, Research Director, Center for Responsible Business 2002 – 2006, Professor, Haas School of Business 1997 – 2005, Associate Director, Institute of Industrial Relations 1996 – 2000, Founding Director of Research, Center for Organization and Human Resource Effectiveness 1994 – 1995, Senior Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Washington DC 1994, Senior Research Economist, Office of the American Workplace, US Department of Labor 1993 – 2002, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business 1991, Visiting Scholar, Industrial Relations Group, Sloan School, MIT 1988 – 1992, Faculty Mentor and Senior Editor, Labor Center Reporter 1983 – 1987, Teaching Fellow, Harvard University

Media Appearances (15)

We must offer Putin an offramp from his war in Ukraine ASAP

Berkeley Blog  online


The risks of escalation between NATO and Russia—a nuclear superpower with a potentially unstable leader—are clear. We must give Russia an attractive path to leave Ukraine as soon as possible, argues David Levine, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business Administration in this blog post. To do that, it is crucial that we negotiate with our foe, no matter how distasteful, he writes.

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‘A brilliant colleague’: UC Berkeley professor John Morgan dies at age 53

The Daily Californian  online


Prof. John Morgan, who discovered new methods of game theory analysis and taught popular classes at Berkeley Haas, died on Oct. 6 at home in Walnut Creek. He was 53. Morgan, the Oliver E. and Dolores W. Williamson Chair of the Economics of Organizations, Distinguished Teaching Fellow and faculty co-director of Berkeley Executive Education, taught at Haas for nearly 20 years. “John was a brilliant colleague,” said Prof. David Levine, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration and chair of the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group.

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Covid-19 OSHA complaints by essential workers are down 85%

Quartz  online


The number of essential workers filing Covid-19-related complaints to OSHA has dropped steeply in recent months. Complaints were highest at the start of the pandemic as employers had few workplace protections against the spread of the coronavirus and workers felt unsatisfied with safety protocols, said Prof. David Levine, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration and chair of the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group.

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A day at the office in a COVID world

CBS Sunday Morning  tv


What will the next iteration of the workplace be, and how will employers reassure their workers that it's okay to go back to the office? "What we need at this point is a lot of studies of what kind of workplaces are safe," said Prof. David Levine, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration and chair of the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group. "We don't know at this point how dangerous different types of open offices are."

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Looking forward: How can we safely reopen the economy?

UC Berkeley News  online


Professor David Levine, a labor economist at Berkeley Haas, said the good news is that all the tools of good management apply. “For generations, we’ve been figuring out how to improve product quality, how to make food safer or how to avoid environmental disasters. And the answer is good management,” he said. “There are lots of management tools around training, incentives, monitoring and continuous improvement that we know how to use for lots of old threats. Coronavirus is a new threat but the tools to fight it are the same tools.”

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The Office As We Knew It Isn't Coming Back Anytime Soon. Maybe It's Changed Forever

NPR  online


Organizations will need to identify risk points in the workplace and think of solutions, says David Levine, a professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. In many grocery stores, for example, plastic shields have been installed to stop the spread of germs between cashiers and customers. "In an office it might mean putting in an automatic door instead of a door with a handle," he says. Or ditching physical files altogether and using digital files instead.

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'I'm not ready to die': New 'essential workers' call for protections, hazard pay in coronavirus crisis

Good Morning America  online


Vitalina Williams worked two jobs to make ends meet, at a Walmart and their local grocer, Market Basket in Salem, Massachusetts. As a newly-deemed "essential worker" during the novel coronavirus pandemic, she continued going to work even as COVID-19 made its insidious spread through the U.S.

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Infrared cameras, personal towels: China factories go to extremes to fend off virus

The Washington Post  online


David Levine, a professor of business administration at the University of California at Berkeley, said that companies worldwide will need effective protocols to avoid new outbreaks, but also to market their products to wary consumers.

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COVID-19 outbreak halts UC Berkeley research projects, inspires new ones

The Daily Californian  online


David Levine, a professor in the Haas School of Business, had to pause his research on hand-washing in schools and factories in India, as the establishments involved have closed because of the disease.

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Because of coronavirus we’re doing things differently. How long will that last?

San Francisco Chronicle  online


It isn’t easy to change habits, as those who have tried to go a day without touching their face have found, but the coronavirus outbreak is threatening to modify human behavior, culture, business and — yes — habits in ways that could permanently alter our way of life.

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Why Workplace Hygiene Should Be More Than Just Hand-Washing

The New York Times  online


When I called David Levine, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, he was working on figuring out how to use Zoom, a video conferencing application, to teach.

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The Great Google Revolt

The New York Times  online


But when about 50 workers formed an organization called Employees for One Apple, which demanded more influence over company decisions, Apple’s leadership granted only token concessions. The organization proved largely powerless, according to a paper by the researchers Libby Bishop and David Levine.

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Trump says economic plan would help poor, but rich would win most

SFGate  online


Donald Trump rolled out his economic plan Monday, billing it as one that would help those who have “the very least.” But analysts say many of his proposals would help those who have the very most.

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11 Ways President Trump's Tax Plan Could Affect Americans

U.S. News & World Report  online


Donald Trump's tax plan, explained.

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Geographic expansion reduces banks’ risk: New evidence

Vox EU  online


Economists offer strikingly different answers to a basic question: Does the geographic expansion of a bank’s activities reduce risk? Textbook portfolio theory suggests that geographic expansion will lower a bank’s risk if it involves adding assets whose returns are imperfectly correlated with existing assets. Diamond (1984) and Boyd and Prescott (1986) emphasise that diversified banks enjoy cost-efficiencies that can enhance stability. And, if diversification makes a bank too big or interconnected to fail, implicit or explicit government guarantees can lower the risk of investing in that bank (Gropp et al. 2011).

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Selected Papers & Publications (15)

What is a ‘meal’? Comparative methods of auditing carbon offset compliance for fuel-efficient cookstoves.

Ecological Economics

David Levine, Steve Harrell, Theresa Beltramo, Garrick Blalock, Juliet Kyayesimira, and Andrew Simons


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The Disgust Box: A Novel Approach to Illustrate Water Contamination with Feces

Global Health Promotion

David Levine, Kaniz Jannat, Mahfuzur Rahman, and Leanne Unicomb


Disgust, Shame and Soapy Water: Tests of Novel Interventions to Promote Safe Water and Hygiene

Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

David Levine, Raymond P. Guiteras, Stephen P. Luby, Thomas H. Polley, Kaniz Khatun-e-Jannat, and Leanne Unicomb


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Insuring Health or Insuring Wealth? An Experimental Evaluation of Health Insurance in Rural Cambodia

Journal of Development Economics

David Levine, Rachel Polimeni, and Ian Ramage


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Design Thinking in Development Engineering

International Journal of Engineering Education

David Levine, Martha A. Lesniewski, and Alice M. Agogino


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Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job Loss


David Levine, Michael W. Toffel and Matthew S. Johnson


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Learning to Dislike Safe Water Products: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Direct and Peer Experience on Willingness to Pay

Environmental Science & Technology

David Levine, Jill Luoto, Minhaj Mahmud, Jeff Albert, Stephen Luby, Nusrat Najnin, and Leanne Unicomb


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What Point-of-Use Water Treatment Products do Consumers Use and Value? Evidence from the Urban Poor in Bangladesh


David Levine, ill Luoto, Nusrat Najnin, Minhaj Mahmud, Jeff Albert, M. Sirajul Islam, Stephen Luby and Leanne Unicomb


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End-User Preferences for and Performance of Competing POU Water Treatment Technologies among the Rural Poor of Kenya

Environmental Science & Technology

David Levine, Jeff Albert and Jill Luoto


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Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers

Management Science

David Levine and Michael Toffel


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Customer Discrimination

Review of Economics and Statistics

David Levine, Laura Giuliano, and Jonathan Leonard


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Investment Following a Financial Crisis: Does Foreign Ownership Matter?

Journal of Monetary Economics

David Levine, Garrick Blalock, and Paul Gertler


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Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental Study

Economic Journal

David Levine and Gary Charness


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Does Social Capital Promote Industrialization? Evidence from a Rapid Industrializer

Review of Economics and Statistics

David Levine, Edward Miguel, and Paul Gertler


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Schooling and Parental Death

Review of Economics and Statistics

David Levine, Paul Gertler and Minnie Ames


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Teaching (2)


E 201

Seminar in Industrial Relations & Labor

PhD 254