Patricia K. Tong

Patricia K. Tong


Ph.D. in economics, University of California, San Diego; B.A. in economics and mathematics, New York University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Patricia Tong (she/her) is an economist at the RAND Corporation who specializes in public finance and labor economics. Tong’s research uses both qualitative and quantitative techniques to study military and civilian personnel topics including how to recruit and retain different communities and the evaluation of existing and proposed monetary and nonmonetary compensation policies. Tong has also worked on projects related to military health, family caregiving, and access to substance abuse and mental health treatment. Her published academic research has documented the anti-poverty effects from participating in the tax system, estimated labor supply elasticities of married couples, and evaluated the impact of minimum nurse staffing standards. Tong’s research has been published in various journals including American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Health Economics, International Tax and Public Finance, and National Tax Journal. Prior to joining RAND, she was a financial economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, San Diego and B.A. in economics and mathematics from New York University.

Selected Publications

Suzanne Gleason and Patricia K. Tong, "Nontaxable Combat Pay Election and the Earned Income Tax Credit," IRS Research Bulletin, 2015

Emily Y. Lin and Patricia K. Tong, "Effects of Marriage Penalty Relief Tax Policy on Marriage Taxes and Marginal Tax Rates of Cohabiting Couples," National Tax Association Proceedings from the 107th Annual Conference, 2014

Patricia K. Tong, "Tracking EITC Qualifying Children Over Time," National Tax Association Proceedings from the 107th Annual Conference, 2014

Laura Kawano, Shanthi Ramnath, and Patricia K. Tong, "A Re-Balancing Act? Understanding Patterns in Refunds and Balances Due," National Tax Association Proceedings from the 105th Annual Conference, 2012

Emily Y. Lin and Patricia K. Tong, "Marriage and Taxes: What Can We Learn from Tax Returns Filed by Cohabiting Couples?" National Tax Journal, 65(4), 2012

Patricia K. Tong, "The Effects of California Minimum Nurse Staffing Laws on Nurse Labor and Patient Mortality in Skilled Nursing Facilities," Health Economics, 20(7), 2011

Shanthi Ramnath and Patricia K. Tong, "The Persistent Reduction in Poverty from Filing a Tax Return," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 9(4), 2017

Emily Y. Lin and Patricia K. Tong, "Using Administrative Tax Data to Estimate Work Participation and Earnings Elasticities of of Married Couples," International Tax and Public Finance, 24(6), 2017


  • Caregivers

    Recognizing Family Caregivers as Part of the Health Care Team

    Recent shifts in health care practices have left family caregivers increasingly responsible for medical tasks. Given family caregivers' central role in medical care, there are efforts underway to improve family caregiver integration into the health care team, but there are barriers to effective integration and engagement.

    Nov 18, 2019

    The RAND Blog

  • Poverty

    Fighting Poverty with Taxes

    As the debate over tax reform continues, finding ways to help the most disadvantaged segment of the population should be considered. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and outreach to low-income populations could increase incentive to file or promote awareness about benefits and generate positive impacts in the longer term.

    Nov 22, 2017

    Council on Economic Policies