Cailin Slattery, 2019 Dissertation Award Winner

Cailin Slattery has won the NTA’s Outstanding Dissertation Prize for 2019. She will accept the award at the NTA Annual Conference in Tampa.

Cailin Slattery is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Division at Columbia Business. Her primary fields of interest are industrial organization, public finance, and urban economics. In particular, she studies how state governments compete to attract firms with discretionary subsidies. This includes how states choose their subsidy offers, whether subsidies affect firms’ location choices, and the effect of subsidy-giving on local economic growth.

Cailin received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia in May 2019. In her dissertation, “State Competition in the Market for Firms,” she uses new, hand-collected data on state incentive spending and subsidy deals to provide new evidence on state subsidy-giving and economic development policy. In the first chapter, she applies an auction model to the subsidy bidding process, and uses the model to estimate the state government’s valuation for firms and the effect of a discretionary subsidy ban. In the second chapter, she explores political motivations for subsidy-giving, exploiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to identify the effect of corporate campaign spending on state’s subsidy-setting decisions. In the third chapter, together with Owen Zidar, she describes and evaluates state and local business incentives in the U.S.