Patrick primarily researches discrimination. First, he quantifies discrimination through audit field experiments, often resume experiments. He has studied hiring discrimination against older workers and Indigenous Peoples in the United States. He is currently working on studies of discrimination against LGBTQ people in access to mortgages and in access to mental health care.
Second, he studies how discrimination laws affect labor market outcomes and Social Security program use (retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance) for older workers and individuals with disabilities. Do expansions or broadening of discrimination laws lead to better labor market outcomes, and thus less reliance on Social Security programs?
Patrick also studied tax incentives for the film industry to determine their effects on where filming locates, their effects on employment and business establishments in the film industry and in related industries, and economic development in general.
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.
Neumark, David, Ian Burn, Patrick Button, and Nanneh Chehras. “Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Forthcoming in the Journal of Law and Economics.
Button, Patrick. 2018. “Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 71(2): 365-93.
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.