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Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics

2017-2018 Recipients: Patrick Button and Ali Enami

Mr. Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss, 1976 graduate from Tulane University and member of the Board of Tulane, has endowed the Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics. “The Schloss Prize is to be offered to outstanding full professors, associate professors, or assistant professors, or graduate or undergraduate students, who do outstanding work in the Department of Economics.”

Mr. Schloss has had a distinguished career in the financial services industry. Following his 1976 graduation from Tulane, he earned an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He then joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in 1978 as an investment banker, and during his 22 years at DLJ rose to become Chairman of DLJ’s Merchant Banking Division. Upon the acquisition of DLJ by Credit Suisse in 2000, he became the Global Head of CSFB Private Equity. In 2010 he was appointed New York City’s Deputy Comptroller for Pensions and the Chief Investment Officer and Trustee of the New York City pension funds, whose assets grew from $100 billion to $145 billion under his leadership. He was named 2012 CIO of The Year – Large Public Pension Funds by Institutional Investor. Most recently, Mr. Schloss was the President of Angelo, Gordon & Co. In addition to serving on the Board of Tulane, Mr. Schloss is the Vice Chair of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ Fund and the Children’s Benefit Fund, and he has served on the boards of directors of numerous public and private companies, including Girls Who Invest.

There are two recipients of the 2017-2018 Schloss Prize. Patrick Button is the faculty recipient of the Schloss Prize for Excellence in Research. Ali Enami is the graduate student recipient of the Schloss Prize for Excellence in Research. Each will receive a cash award of $2500.

Patrick Button is an assistant professor of economics at Tulane University, and a research affiliate with IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Irvine in 2015, and he has been at Tulane University since then. His research focuses on quantifying the extent and the effects of labor market discrimination faced by older workers, indigenous peoples, and Arabs and Muslins, mainly using field experiments. He is also studying discrimination in mortgage lending and in access to healthcare. In other work, he has estimated the impact of tax incentives for economic development (especially incentives received by the film industry) on firm location. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and it has received media attention by the PBS Newshour, National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, and Reuters.

Patrick’s recent research accomplishments are truly outstanding. In the last year, Patrick has had published or accepted the following articles and book chapters:

  • “Is it Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment” (with David Neumark and Ian Burn), in The Journal of Political Economy

  • “A Replication of ‘Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U.S. House’ (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2004)”, in Public Finance Review

  • “Disability Saliency and Discrimination in Hiring” (with Philip Armour and Simon Hollands), in The American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings

  • “Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California” (with David Neumark and Joanne Song), in Industrial and Labor Relations Review

  • “Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws” (with David Neumark and Joanne Song), in Research on Aging

  • “Age Discrimination and Hiring of Older Workers” (with David Neumark and Ian Burn), in Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco Economic Letter.

Patrick has also been very successful in generating external support for his research, including grants from:

  • National Institutes of Health - RAND Fellow in the Study of Aging

  • W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research – Early Career Research Grant “Do Disability

  • Discrimination Laws Help Individuals with Disabilities? Evidence from State Laws”

  • NBER Disability Research Consortium “Do Disability Discrimination Laws Help Individuals with Disabilities? Evidence from State Laws”

  • NBER Disability Research Consortium “The Long-Run Effects of US Disability Discrimination Laws on the Earnings and Social Security Disability Insurance Participation of the Disabled Population.”

More details on Patrick’s activities can be found on his websites, at and at

Ali Enami is a graduate student in the Department of Economics, finishing his dissertation in the Department’s doctoral program and graduating with a Ph.D. in economics. He received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology in Iran Economics, an M.B.A. from Malek-Ashtar University of Technology in Iran, an M.A. in economics from the University of Akron, and an M.S. in economics from Tulane University. His dissertation is entitled “Analyzing the Socio-economic Impacts of Fiscal Policies: Educational Attainment, Interstate Migration, Inequality, and Poverty.”

Even with the demands of coursework and a dissertation, Ali has made outstanding research contributions. He has already published several articles, including:

  • “Does Unrestricted Public School Choice Increase Racial Segregation? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in New Orleans”, in Applied Economics Quarterly

  • “Do Government Subsidies to Low-income Individuals Affect Interstate Migration? Evidence from the Massachusetts Health Care Reform”, in Regional Science and Urban Economics

  • “Balancing the Ticket While Appealing to the Base: The Game Theory Behind Mitt Romney’s Selection of Paul Ryan as his Presidential Running Mate”, in Party Politics

  • “Do Refugee-immigrants Affect International Trade? Evidence from the World’s Largest Refugee Case”, in Journal of Policy Modeling.

Ali has also published several book chapters in Commitment to Equity Handbook – A Guide to Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty (Brookings Institution Press and CEQ Institute), edited by Nora Lustig:

  • “Analytic Foundations: Measuring the Redistributive Impact of Taxes and Transfers”

  • “Measuring the Redistributive Impact of Taxes and Transfers in the Presence of Reranking”

  • “Measuring the Effectiveness of Taxes and Transfers in Fighting Inequality and Poverty”

  • “An Application of the CEQ Effectiveness Indicators: The Case of Iran.”

Ali has a number of additional research projects underway, including several that have received grant support. He expects to continue his work on inequality and poverty with Nora Lustig, funding by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More details on Ali’s activities can be found on his website, at

The Department of Economics selection committee (Nora Lustig, Jon Pritchett, and James Alm) was unanimous in recommending that Patrick and Ali be the 2017-2018 recipients of the Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics.

The Department of Economics is very grateful to Mr. Schloss for his generous and ongoing support, which has made possible the recognition of Nora’s accomplishments. Previous Schloss Prize winners are Marco Castaneda (2009), Jay Shimshack (2010), Stefano Barbieri (2011), Keith Finlay (2012), Douglas Nelson (2012), Alan Barreca (2013), Jon Pritchett (2013), Doug Harris (2014), Sean Higgins (2014), and James Alm (2015), Nora Lustig (2016), and Jon Pritchett (2017).