Patrick Button Assistant Professor Department of Economics Tulane University

Patrick Button

Associate Professor
205 Tilton Memorial Hall


Patrick Button (he/they) is an Associate Professor of Economics at Tulane University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER, and a Research Affiliate at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

He primarily researches discrimination, especially in employment, and especially based on age and disability. He researches discrimination in two ways:

  1. quantifying 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. determining 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, he 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.


  • Economics of discrimination
  • Economics of aging and disability
  • Economic development incentives


Selected Publications

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." Forthcoming in Public Policy & Aging Report. Available as NBER Working Paper No. 27448.

Button, Patrick, and Brigham Walker. 2020. “Employment Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Labour Economics 65(4). (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. (Pre-Publication Version)

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. (Pre-Publication Version)

Button, Patrick. 2018. “Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California.” ILR Review, 71(2): 365-93. (Pre-Publication Version)