About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tulane University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER, and a Research Affiliate at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

I primarily research discrimination, especially in employment, and especially based on age and disability. I research discrimination two ways:

(1) I quantify discrimination using audit field experiments.

I previously studied hiring discrimination against older workers using resume experiments, where we applied for jobs as younger and older workers to study age discrimination in hiring. I am also researching discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in access to mortgages and multiple types of discrimination in access to mental health care.

(2) I determine the effects of discrimination laws. 

I use variation in time and across states in discrimination laws to see if these laws improve employment and hiring. I also study how discrimination laws affect Social Security Disability Insurance applications for older workers and individuals with disabilities. 

In other research, I quantified the (lack of) economic impacts of tax incentives for the film industry, by comparing filming location choice, employment, and business growth in the film industry and related industries after states adopted these aggressive subsidies.

My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Aging, the Sloan Foundation, the Social Security Administration, the Haynes Foundation, and the Borchard Center for Law and Aging, among others.

 
 

Research

Notes: * = Student / post-doc co-author

  Links in paper titles goes to the published work, which is often gated.

  I provide links underneath each publication for free, ungated/pre-publication versions.

  You can find all my ungated papers on ResearchGate as well.

Effects of Recessions and COVID-19 on Older Workers

Bui, Truc T. M.*, Patrick Button, and Elyce G. Picciotti*. 2020. "Early Evidence on the Impacts of COVID-19 and the Recession on Older

Workers." Public Policy & Aging Report, 30(4): 154-159.

Related: NBER Working Paper No. 27448

Neumark, David and Patrick Button. 2014. “Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?Journal

of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(3): 566-601.

Related: NBER Working Paper, Executive Summary (SF Fed Letter), Pre-Publication Version, Data and Replication Code

Age Discrimination in Employment

Burn, Ian, Patrick Button, Ted Figinski, and Joanne Song McLaughlin. 2020. "Why Retirement, Social Security, and Age Discrimination Policies

Need to Consider the Intersectional Experiences of Older Women." Public Policy & Aging Report, 30(3): 101-106.

Related: NBER Working Paper

Burn, Ian, Patrick Button, Luis Munguia Corella,* and David Neumark. 2020. "Older Workers Need Not Apply? Ageist Language in Job Ads

and Age Discrimination in Hiring." NBER Working Paper No. 26552. R&R at the Journal of Labor Economics.

Button, Patrick, Mashfiqur Khan,* and Mary Penn*. 2020. "Do Stronger Employment Discrimination Protections Decrease Reliance on Social

Security Disability Insurance? Evidence from the Social Security Reforms." W.E. Upjohn Institute Working Paper 20-326.

Button, Patrick. 2020. “Population Aging, Age Discrimination, and Age Discrimination Protections at the 50th Anniversary of the Age

Discrimination in Employment Act.” In Czaja, Sara J., Joseph Sharit, and Jacquelyn James (Eds.). Current and Emerging Trends in Aging and Work. Springer: New York.

Related: NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version, EEOC Testimony

Neumark, David, Ian Burn, Patrick Button, and Nanneh Chehras. 2019. “Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce

Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Journal of Law and Economics, 62(2): 373-402.

Related: Online Appendix, Data, NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version

Neumark, David, Ian Burn, and Patrick Button. 2019. “Is it Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field

Experiment.” Journal of Political Economy, 127(2): 922-970.

Related: AEA P&P Paper, Online Appendix, Data, NBER Working Paper, Executive Summary (SF Fed Letter), Pre-Publication Version

Neumark, David, Joanne Song, and Patrick Button. 2017. Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired?

Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws.” Research on Aging, 39(1): 29-63.

Related: NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version

Neumark, David and Patrick Button. 2014. “Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?Journal

of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(3): 566-601.

Related: NBER Working Paper, Executive Summary (SF Fed Letter), Pre-Publication Version, Data and Replication Code

Effects of Disability Employment Discrimination Laws

Button, Patrick, Mashfiqur Khan,* and Mary Penn*. 2020. "Do Stronger Employment Discrimination Protections Decrease Reliance on Social

Security Disability Insurance? Evidence from the Social Security Reforms." W.E. Upjohn Institute Working Paper 20-326.

Neumark, David, Ian Burn, Patrick Button, and Nanneh Chehras. 2019. “Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce

Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Journal of Law and Economics, 62(2): 373-402.

Related: Online Appendix, Data, NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version

Button, Patrick. 2018. “Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California.”

ILR Review, 71(2): 365-93.

Related: Online Appendix, Pre-Publication Version

Armour, Philip, Patrick Button, and Simon Hollands*. 2018. “Disability Saliency and Discrimination in Hiring.” AEA Papers and Proceedings,

108: 262-66.

Related: Pre-Publication Version

Neumark, David, Joanne Song, and Patrick Button. 2017. Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired?

Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws.” Research on Aging, 39(1): 29-63.

Related: NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version

Other Research on Discrimination

Balfe, Cathy*, Patrick Button, Mary Penn*, and David Schwegman. “Infrequent Identity Signals and Detection Risks in Audit Correspondence

Studies.”

Button, Patrick, Eva Dils*, Luca Fumarco*, Benjamin Harrell*, and David Schwegman. “Gender Identity, Race, and Ethnicity Discrimination in

Access to Mental Health Care: Preliminary Evidence from a Multi-Wave Audit Field Experiment.” NBER Working Paper  No. 28164.

Button, Patrick, and Brigham Walker. 2020. “Employment Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a

Field Experiment.” Labour Economics 65(4): 101851. 

Related:  Pre-Publication Version, NBER Working PaperRegistered Pre-Analysis Plan

Tax Incentives for the Film Industry

Button, Patrick. 2019. “Do Tax Incentives Affect Business Location and Economic Development? Evidence from State Film Incentives.”

Regional Science and Urban Economics, 77: 315-339.

Related: Online Appendix, NBER Working Paper, Pre-Publication Version, Data

Button, Patrick. 2018. “Can Tax Incentives Create a Local Film Industry? Evidence from Louisiana and New Mexico.” Forthcoming in the

Journal of Urban Affairs.

Related: Pre-Publication Version

Research on Teaching

Button, Patrick, LaPorchia Collins, Augustine Denteh, Benjamin Harrell*, Elliott Isaac, Monica Garcia-Perez, and Engy Ziedan. 2021. “Teaching

Controversial and Contemporary Topics in Economics Using a Jigsaw Literature Review Activity.” R&R at the Journal of Economic Education.

Button, Patrick, LaPorchia Collins, Augustine Denteh, Benjamin Harrell*, Elliott Isaac, Monica Garcia-Perez, and Engy Ziedan. 2021. “Can a

Jigsaw Literature Review Activity Help Students Engage with Economics Journal Articles?” Working Paper.

Other Research

Johnson, Lindsay,* Michael Spanbauer,* and Patrick Button. 2019. “How Valuable are National Parks? Evidence from a Proposed National

Park Expansion in Alaska.” Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, 37(2): 1-25.

Related: Pre-Publication Version

Button, Patrick. 2018. “A Replication of 'Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U.S. House' (The Quarterly Journal of

Economics, 2004).” Public Finance Review, 46(5): 886-93.

Related: Non-condensed (and ungated) version

 

Button, Patrick. 2016. “Model Uncertainty and Model Averaging in Regression Discontinuity Designs.” Journal of Econometric Methods, 5(1):

103-16.

Related: Pre-Publication Version

In Progress

Button, Patrick, Luca Fumarco*, Benjamin Harrell*, and David Schwegman*. “How Did COVID-19 Affect Access and Discrimination in Access

to Mental Health Care? Evidence from an Audit Field Experiment.”

Button, Patrick, Philip Armour, and Simon Hollands*. “A Comprehensive Analysis of the Effects of U.S. Disability Discrimination Laws on the

Employment, Earnings, and Social Security Use of the Disabled Population.”


Button, Patrick, James G. MacKinnon, and Matthew D. Webb. “How Should I Cluster my Standard Errors in a Difference-in-Differences? An

Educational Flow Chart Tool” (tentative title)
 

Balfe, Cathy*, Patrick Button, and David Schwegman. “Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Mortgage Lending: An Audit Field Experiment.”
 

Brick-Hezeau, Emma*, Ian Burn, Patrick Button, and David Schwegman. “Using Text Analysis to Detect ‘Subtle’ Discrimination in Audit Field

Experiments”

Teaching

Urban Economics (ECON 3320)

Fall 2020

Urban economics studies how economics applies to geography, such as issues at regional or local levels. Topics covered include finding and using geographical data, crime, agglomeration, policing, racial bias, economic development incentives, housing, and neighborhood effects. Students will also learn the intuition behind how economists analyze policies or programs using statistical analysis. Syllabus

Labor Economics (ECON 3810)

Spring 2021

Labor economics studies labor markets. Topics covered include finding and using population and labor force data, labor supply, labor demand, economic models of the labor market, employment discrimination, and labor market policies (e.g., EITC, minimum wage). The course will also include a short introduction to using STATA to conduct research in labor economics. Students will also learn the intuition behind how economists analyze policies or programs using statistical analysis. Syllabus

PhD Econometrics III (ECON 7175)

Spring 2020

The course covers methodologies that would be in any empirical microeconomist's “toolbox”. These include regression control, instrumental variables, experiments, panel methods, difference-in-differences, and regression discontinuity design. The course will cover the basic theory, applications, and best practices. Students will put this into practice with actual data sets and applications, using STATA. Syllabus

 

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6823 St. Charles Avenue, Tilton Hall 205, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118