Prof. Carl Shapiro Joins Obama’s “Brain Trust”

Haas School Professor Carl Shapiro, an expert in the economics of antitrust and innovation, has been named chief economist in the US Department of Justice's antitrust division.

Shapiro, the Transamerica Professor of Business Strategy, previously served as deputy assistant attorney general for economic analysis in the Justice Department from 1995 to 1996. He has been a member of the Haas faculty since 1991.

Last year Shapiro stepped down as director of the Institute of Business and Economics Research after two five-year terms. During his tenure, IBER expanded its research activity and grants and created the social sciences laboratory Xlab and several new centers.

Shapiro also has helped establish UC Berkeley as a leading force in the patent reform effort by bringing Federal Trade Commission hearings to the Haas School and organizing a campus-wide conference on patent reform. Shapiro has testified twice in 2005 before the Antitrust Modernization Commission.

In 1999, Shapiro and Haas Professor Hal Varian (now on leave to serve as chief economist at Google) co-authored "Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy," a widely acclaimed book that deconstructs the economic factors affecting information technology markets.

Shapiro's colleague, UC Berkeley Economics Professor Joseph Farrell, who has an affiliate appointment at Haas, recently became chief economist at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the sister antitrust enforcement agency to the Department of Justice.

Shapiro and Farrell recently co-authored a research paper for the FTC on a new method of determining whether a merger might reduce competition and make prices go up, titled "Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers: An Economic Alternative to Market Definition."

In moving to the nation's capitol, Shapiro joins ever-expanding list of UC Berkeley faculty members and staff drafted into national leadership positions, part of a group that the San Jose Mercury News has dubbed "Obama's Bay Area brain trust."