CFAES Give Today

Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


AEDE Alum Carlianne Patrick Awarded Regional Science Association International’s 2012 Dissertation Prize

Nov. 13, 2012

At this weekend’s 59th annual conference of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC), held from November 7-10, 2012 in Ottawa, Canada, AEDE alumnus Carlianne Patrick was awarded the prestigious Regional Science Association International’s (RSAI) Dissertation Prize for her work “Essays in Economic Growth and Development Policy”. Patrick completed her dissertation as an AEDE Ph.D. student studying under Mark Partridge, Professor and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy. In winning the award, she competed with colleagues from around the world for the prize. 

Recognizing that state and local economic development officials compete across jurisdictions to offer financial incentives to firms to locate to their areas, Patrick was interested in studying the impact of these incentives. In her research she found that after decades of study in this field there is no clear consensus regarding the effects of economic development incentives and large firm locations. She explored the effects of this controversial economic development policy in three essays, which are organized as follows in her dissertation paper: 1) The Economic Development Incentives Game: An Imperfect Information, Heterogeneous Communities Approach, 2) Do More Economic Development Incentives Result in More Jobs?:  An examination of the influence of the economic development incentives environment on county level jobs in the US 1970-2000, and 3) What do Million Dollar Facilities Really Do?

The first essay explains observed outcomes and bidding behaviors through a proposed model of incentives competition. The second essay exploits the dynamics of competition to create a local incentives availability measure. Using the Incentives Environment Index and a proposed model of local employment with incentives, this essay provides insight into one important unresolved question in the field: does increasing the availability of public aid to private enterprise support local employment growth? The third essay tests whether a set of heavily incentivized firms generate the spillovers required for incentives to induce a virtuous cycle of economic development. Overall, the research provides new theoretical, measurement, and empirical contributions to the study of economic development incentives.

Her dissertation work has won a number of prizes: the first essay was awarded the Barry M. Moriaty Prize for Best Graduate Research Paper in Regional Science (2011), as well as honorable mention in the 25th Competition for the Charles M. Tiebout Prize in Regional Science (2011); and the second essay was named the winner in the 26th Charles M. Tiebout Prize in Regional Science (2012). 

Patrick is currently an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University’s Department of Economics, where she continues her research in the fields of urban and regional economics, public finance, and economic development policy.

November 14, 2012