I’ve noticed economists often use the word, “green field” and “brown field” these days in TV talk shows when arguing the efficiency of governmental or corporate investment.
I also saw the comment of representative of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), saying “Our interest is brown field. We don’t invest in green field” in an infra investment journal.
He meant it’s better for GIP to invest in the field where they can capitalize on their managerial expertise and investment technology than in the field they are unfamiliar and can’t be sure of return of investment.
Neither Cambridge nor Oxford English Dictionary carries ‘green field / brown field” as a word. Readers Plus English Japanese Dictionary (published by Kenkyusha) defines 'greenfield' as 'of underdeveloped area," with no mention of 'brownfield.'
GoogleNgram’shows incidence of ‘green field’ at high 0.000012% level, and ‘brown field’ low at 0.0000012% level in 2007. But I think the usages of both words are irrelevant to the above case.
When did “green field’ and ‘brown field’ as a pair come into use as an economic, or investment term, and who did arrange so?