Patrick Button Wins Prestigious Dissertation Award

Alan Auerbach of NTA, P. Button Tulane professor Patrick Button has won the runner-up best Doctoral Dissertation Award from the National Tax Association for his study of tax incentives for the film industry. This award was announced at the recent annual meetings of the NTA in Boston, MA, and comes with a cash award of $1000.

For his dissertation, Patrick compiled a database of tax incentives for the film industry in all 50 states. Using panel regression and difference-in-difference techniques, he estimated the effect of these incentives on filming location, and employment and business establishment counts in the film industry. While Patrick found that tax incentives had a significant effect on filming location, he did not find meaningful effects on employment or business establishments, suggesting that these incentives are not causing a permanent industry to take hold. Patrick suggests that this is because filming location is mobile while business establishments face agglomeration economies in major clusters such as Los Angeles.


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