About Me

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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.



* = Student / post-doc co-author

Age and Disability Discrimination in Employment


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."

NBER Working Paper No. 27448.

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." Forthcoming in Public Policy & Aging Report. Available as NBER Working Paper No. 27450.

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.

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. 2019. “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, 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 Papers & Proceedings Paper, Online Appendix, Data, NBER Working Paper, Executive Summary (SF Fed Letter), 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:


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

Neumark, David, Ian Burn, and Patrick Button. 2016. “Experimental Age Discrimination Evidence and the Heckman Critique.” American Economic

Review (Papers and Proceedings), 106(5): 303-08.


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

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

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

Other Research on Discrimination

Button, Patrick, and Brigham Walker. 2019. “Employment Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field

Experiment.” Forthcoming in Labour Economics

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

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, 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."

Balfe, Cathy,* Patrick Button, Mary Penn,* and David Schwegman*. "Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Mortgage Lending: An Audit Field


Button, Patrick, Eva Dils,* Luca Fumarco,* Benjamin Harrell,* and David Schwegman*. "Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Racial

Discrimination in Access to Mental Health Care: Evidence from a Field Experiment."


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, economic development incentives, housing, neighborhood effects, and discrimination. Students will also learn the intuition behind how economists analyze policies or programs using statistical analysis.

Labor Economics (ECON 3810)

Fall 2020

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.

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.



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