Article

Unanticipated Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program

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Abstract

We examine the effect of California paid family leave (CPFL) on young women's labor force participation and unemployment, relative to men and older women. CPFL enables workers to take at most 6 weeks of paid leave over a 12-month period in order to bond with new born or adopted children, or to care for sick family members or ailing parents. The policy benefits women, especially young women, as they are more prone to take such a leave. However, the effect of the policy on overall labor market outcomes is less clear. We apply difference-in-difference techniques to identify the effects of the CPFL legislation on young women's labor force participation and unemployment. We find that the labor force participation rate, the unemployment rate, and the duration of unemployment among young women rose in California compared to men (particularly young men) and older women in California, and to other young women, men, and older women in states that did not adopt PFL. The latter two findings regarding higher young women's unemployment and unemployment duration are unanticipated effects of the CPFL program. We utilize robustness checks as well as unique placebo tests to validate these results.(JEL H43, J13, J18, J48)

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... Two of these studies focus on longer term labor market outcomes and two look at females of child-bearing age rather than mothers per se. Das and Polachek (2015) examined the impact of CA-PFL on young women's labor force participation rate, the unemployment rate, and duration of unemployment. They found that PFL led to increases in all three measures with labor force participation increasing by 1.5 percent, unemployment by between 0.3 percent and 1.5 percent and unemployment duration by 4-9 percent. ...
... The empirical literature generally supports the finding that PFML enhances female labor force attachment in the form of improved labor force participation or employment, although the specific details vary from study to study. This scenario assumes that female childbearing age labor force participation for PFML impacted female workers increases by 1.37 percentage points as found in Das and Polachek (2015). In order to maintain labor market clearing, employment is increased by a commensurate amount to maintain approximate full employment equilibrium (Treyz and Evangelakis 2018). ...
... In order to maintain labor market clearing, employment is increased by a commensurate amount to maintain approximate full employment equilibrium (Treyz and Evangelakis 2018). Although positive employment impacts are not supported by Das and Polachek (2015), some other studies have found positive employment impacts. For example, Baum and Ruhm (2016) found that PFML boosted maternal employment by 18 percent one year after childbirth. ...
Technical Report
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This report examines the effects of a proposed Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia based on legislation introduced during the 2021 General Assembly Session. It examines the features of the legislation in comparison to other states that have adopted PFML and the possible effects of varying program design elements. It also reports on a professional actuarial analysis that projects funding needed for benefit payments, program operation and administration, and a sufficient cash balance to ensure program solvency over the 2022 to 2033 period. The potential short-run and long-run economic, social, and demographic effects on Virginia residents are examined through the prism of recent scholarly research on U.S. state programs. Lastly, it examines the distributional effects and economic impacts of Virginia's PFML legislation and two alternative PFML programs (a higher benefit program and a lower benefit program) using the U.S. Department of Labor's Worker PLUS microsimulation model and a REMI PI+ dynamic economic impact model for Virginia.
... New York and Texas are as densely populated as California. They also exhibit similar diversity in terms of immigrant population, ethnicity and race 11 . New York, Washington and Massachusetts also had been contemplating implementing PFL legislation similar to that of California. ...
... We use the synth STATA command to determine these weights which we then apply to the individual NIS data. 11 It should be noted however, that California has a lower proportion of black individuals relative to that of NY and TX. ...
... *** p < 0.01, ** p < 0.05, * p < 0.1. to care for their loved ones without risking economic insecurity [4,5,11]. But one unanticipated outcome, namely on-time vaccinations, can also benefit children's well-being. ...
Article
Time constraints parents face can affect whether infant children are vaccinated on time. Using the National Immunization Survey, we employ a synthetic control difference-in-difference estimation technique to establish a causal relationship arising from California's implementation of Paid Parental Leave Program as a natural experiment. We find California Paid Family Leave reduced late vaccinations by up to 5 percentage points or approximately 10% for children born to parents in California after the policy was implemented. Further, the policy had a stronger impact on families below the poverty line. Thus access to paid family leave can improve on-time immunization of infants.
... Předchozí literatura také ukazuje, že v zemích s delší placenou rodičovskou dovolenou (jako je například Česká republika) jsou vyšší mzdové rozdíly mezi muži a ženami (OECD, 2012), ale také vyšší genderové rozdíly v nezaměstnanosti (Bičáková, 2012). Das a Polachek (2014) pak dokumentují přímý dopad délky rodičovské dovolené na míru nezaměstnanosti všech mladých žen. ...
... Zdroj: data VŠPS 2011-2014 ...
Article
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In this study we explore the timing of the return of women with young children to the labour market after the family leave, using the Czech labor force survey data. We document the evolution of the unemployment risk by the age of their child and the mechanism through which mothers with young children become unemployed. Majority of women return to the labor market when their child is 3 years old. The unemployment rate among women with at least a high school diploma reaches 12% and among those with lower education is as high as 28% when their child is three. Women often become unemployed immediately after returning to the labour market. Almost 60% of women without a high school diploma and about 34 % of women with higher education become unemployed immediately after the family leave. Moreover, this unemployment is not always justa brief intermission between the end of family leave (or after having returned to their previous employment) and a new job. More than half of women without high school diploma and more than a third of women with higher education are unemployed for more than six months.
... 3 Another study, however, also making use of the Current Population Survey and published in 2015, concluded that California's paid leave policy increased the labor force participation rate, but also the unemployment rate for young women, potentially because of discrimination in hiring. 77 Evidence concerning the impacts of paid leave policies on wages and earnings is mixed. Whether reforms have negative, null, or positive effects might depend on the structure of the program and the point at which wages and earnings were measured. ...
... Changes in other social, political, and economic conditions that coincide with the policy change of interest and also affect the outcome lead to biased estimates. Among the many applications of the DD design were subnational studies that capitalized on state or provincial variations, such as US studies examining the impact of state FMLA and paid leave policies; 3,12,17,35,36,38,77 studies that examined federal policy changes to leave policies, sometimes exploiting variations across age cohorts; 18,19,52,53,61,93 and cross-national studies leveraging variations in leave policies across countries and time periods. [46][47][48]69 Studies tested the robustness of their DD analyses through a variety of approaches, including the use of propensity score matched and synthetic control groups; 79,92 difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD); 35,92 multiple control groups; 3,52,116 and negative control and other placebo tests. ...
Article
Policy Points • Historically, reforms that have increased the duration of job‐protected paid parental leave have improved women's economic outcomes. • By targeting the period around childbirth, access to paid parental leave also appears to reduce rates of infant mortality, with breastfeeding representing one potential mechanism. • The provision of more generous paid leave entitlements in countries that offer unpaid or short durations of paid leave could help families strike a balance between the competing demands of earning income and attending to personal and family well‐being. Context Policies legislating paid leave from work for new parents, and to attend to individual and family illness, are common across Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, there exists no comprehensive review of their potential impacts on economic, social, and health outcomes. Methods We conducted a systematic review of the peer‐reviewed literature on paid leave and socioeconomic and health outcomes. We reviewed 5,538 abstracts and selected 85 published papers on the impact of parental leave policies, 22 papers on the impact of medical leave policies, and 2 papers that evaluated both types of policies. We synthesized the main findings through a narrative description; a meta‐analysis was precluded by heterogeneity in policy attributes, policy changes, outcomes, and study designs. Findings We were able to draw several conclusions about the impact of parental leave policies. First, extensions in the duration of paid parental leave to between 6 and 12 months were accompanied by attendant increases in leave‐taking and longer durations of leave. Second, there was little evidence that extending the duration of paid leave had negative employment or economic consequences. Third, unpaid leave does not appear to confer the same benefits as paid leave. Fourth, from a population health perspective, increases in paid parental leave were consistently associated with better infant and child health, particularly in terms of lower mortality rates. Fifth, paid paternal leave policies of adequate length and generosity have induced fathers to take additional time off from work following the birth of a child. How medical leave policies for personal or family illness influence health has not been widely studied. Conclusions There is substantial quasi‐experimental evidence to support expansions in the duration of job‐protected paid parental leave as an instrument for supporting women's labor force participation, safeguarding women's incomes and earnings, and improving child survival. This has implications, in particular, for countries that offer shorter durations of job‐protected paid leave or lack a national paid leave entitlement altogether.
... For example, Stanczyk (2016) found evidence that California's PFL program does not meaningfully reduce the risk of poverty or increase household income among low-income single-mother households in the period closely following a birth. Further suggesting that California's PFL program might have unintended consequences for less advantaged mothers, Das and Polachek (2015) found evidence that the program influenced young women's labor market participation by increasing the likelihood and duration of unemployment spells among this group. Finally, scholars have also found that among women, being low-income and less-educated is negatively related to awareness of PFL programs, which may weaken the positive effects of PL on vulnerable, single-mother families and raises concerns about how these families fare during the period around a birth (Applebaum & Milkman, 2013). ...
... Second, it could also be that some of the correlation between PFL and material hardship reflects low take-up rates in PFL in California among low-income women (Applebaum & Milkman, 2011), whereas take-up is less of an issue with TDI. Although we did not measure the relationship between postbirth employment and material hardship, recent evidence indicates that PFL in California has resulted not only in improved labor force attachment but also higher likelihood and duration of unemployment spells among young women (Das & Polachek, 2015). Therefore, PL availability for these mothers may have little influence on experiences with material hardship in the period after a birth. ...
... PPL is associated with lower likelihood of other adverse health problems such as childhood obesity, ADHD, hearing problems, and ear infections (Lichtman-Sadot & Bell, 2017). Paid leave is also linked with increased probability of women joining the workforce but there are mixed effects on women's medium-and long-term earnings, showing diminishing returns beginning around seven months (Hegewisch & Gornick, 2011;Nandi et al., 2018), and limited evidence suggests that paid leave policy expansions may unintentionally lead to hiring discrimination against young women (Das & Polachek, 2015). Despite the potential benefits, only 15 percent of U.S. workers receive paid family leave through their employers (U.S. ...
... Another issue that has the potential to surface when paid leave policies are not carefully constructed is hiring discrimination. One study found evidence that California's PFL policy slightly increased unemployment among young women, possibly due to employers shifting their preference towards men and older women (Das & Polachek, 2015). Policies that feature high wage replacement and periods of non-transferable individual leave have been shown to encourage fathers to take leave, reducing unequal take-up by gender and, therefore, reducing discrimination against women in the labor market (Hegewisch & Gornick, 2011). ...
Article
This research note draws selected findings from a multiple-methods study conducted in partnership with a large public-sector employer in Portland, OR to describe the added value of this approach for research translation. We focus on how our study of a newly implemented paid parental leave policy can translate to actionable steps for two important end-users: employers and policymakers. Using administrative records (N = 579), a countywide employee survey (N = 137 leave-takers) and focus groups (N = 35), we describe how each data source contributes important and unique information about how the policy’s implementation affected diverse employees. We find gender differences in how employees changed leave-taking in response to the policy, and describe the critical but nuanced role that supervisors play. Working with employers and policymakers to develop and implement thoughtful policies will help to ensure equitable distribution of the benefits of paid leave policies.
... For example, studies indicate that on-time vaccination rates have increased as a result of the extra time mothers have to care for their newborns. However, on the negative side, the unemployment rate of such women, at least in some areas, has increased because employers are often reluctant to hire employees prone to taking leave [12]. In an analysis by the OECD, the gender wage gap is larger in countries with greater paid family leave. ...
... The author thanks an anonymous referee and the IZA World of Labor editors for many helpful suggestions on earlier drafts. Version 2 of the article updates the figures, adds further discussion on innate psychological and physiological factors versus human capital theory, and includes new "Key references" [1], [3], [5], [6], [8], [12]. ...
... Nonetheless, only 17 percent of working people in the U.S. have access to paid family leave through their employer, with this proportion being even lower for low-income workers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018). Research on California's PFL shows that, in addition to affecting poverty rates (Stanczyk 2019) and maternal labor market outcomes (Byker 2016;Das and Polachek 2015), the program also provides health benefits for both children (Lichtman-Sadot and Pillay Bell 2017; Pihl and Basso 2019) and mothers (Bullinger 2019). Less is known how PFL impacts other outcomes of well-being, which could potentially be mechanisms related to improvements in labor market and health outcomes. ...
... Baum and Ruhm (2016) find that California's PFL raised employment of mothers by about 23% 1 year after childbirth, and increased work during the child's second year of life by 11%. In contrast, Das and Polachek (2015) and Bailey et al. (2019) find that the policy had negative of zero effects on employment. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the relationship between the 2004 introduction of California’s paid family leave (PFL) program on food security. While previous work has shown that PFL laws affect employment, poverty and health, there is no evidence so far whether such policies affect food security levels of families after the birth of a child. Estimating difference-in-differences (DD) and triple difference (DDD) models, this is the first study to evaluate potential effects on food security, which could be a potential mechanism explaining improvements in health outcomes for both infants and mothers found in previous studies. My analysis shows that California’s PFL implementation reduced the incidence of very low household food security by 2.29 (DD) and 1.98 percentage points (DDD) in the year following a birth. I find that the effects are driven improvements in food security among children who are 1.41 percentage points less likely to be food insecure after the PFL introduction. Subgroup analysis shows that the effects are largest for low-income households, a group that has been shown to highly value PFL benefits, as well as for families with more than one child.
... Several papers find improved employment and wage outcomes in the short term (Rossin-Slater et al. 2013;Byker 2016;Baum and Ruhm 2016). In contrast, Das and Polachek (2015) find increases in unemployment and duration of unemployment, and Bailey et al. (2019) finds a reduction in employment and lower annual wages in the long run. Additionally, Bana et al. (2018) finds that an increase in the replacement rate at the cap does not increase employment of high earning mothers. ...
Article
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Literature on the labor market and health effects of paid family leave largely overlooks the impacts on fertility, particularly in the United States. Increased childbearing following the introduction of a modest paid family leave policy in the U.S. could explain the contrasting short–term gains and long–term losses in women’s labor market outcomes found in recent work. We exploit the nation’s first paid family leave program, implemented in California in 2004. Using the universe of U.S. births and a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that access to leave increases fertility by 2.8 percent, driven by higher order births to mothers in their 30s, as well as Hispanic mothers and those with a high school degree. Our results are robust to corrective methods of inference, including synthetic controls. Our findings may inform the discussion of a national paid family leave policy.
... Our survey did not inquire about the nature of those changes, but previous literature suggests that employees perceived as most likely to use a policy may face hiring discrimination. One study found that California's PFL policy increased unemployment among young women, possibly due to discrimination (Das & Polachek, 2015). Arguably, policies that encourage equal take-up by fathers and mothers could reduce this risk, and PPLO contains two policy features that have been shown to encourage take-up among men: high wage replacement and non-transferrable leave (Hegewisch & Gornick, 2011). ...
Article
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Background A growing body of research finds that paid leave policies have significant population health benefits for workers and their families, but the lack of a national paid leave policy in the United States leaves most workers without access to any paid leave. In 2017 San Francisco implemented the nation’s first fully paid leave policy, mandating that covered employers provide up to six weeks of leave to care for a new child. The objective of our study is to examine how the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) affected paid leave access, including among workers in low-wage industries. Methods: We surveyed Bay Area employers in 2018, the year after PPLO took effect. We estimated difference-in-differences models of changes in access to paid leave before versus after implementation of the PPLO in San Francisco compared to surrounding counties. Results: Availability of paid leave in San Francisco firms increased from 45% in 2016 to 79% following implementation of the PPLO. This is significantly more (p<.05) than the increase from 32% to 47% in surrounding counties. Compliance was lowest (67%) among low-wage firms. We found minimal evidence of self-reported negative effects on employers. Overall, 82% of firms supported the PPLO. Conclusions: San Francisco’s experience demonstrates the feasibility of using local policy to increase parental leave access.
... Examining broader implications for women, Das and Polachek (2015) find an increase in labour force participation and unemployment of the general population of young women in California, using other states as control groups. They suggest that this may be due to the higher cost of hiring young women after paid family leave is introduced, while at the same time employment becomes more attractive to this group. ...
Article
This review is based on the international and Australian literature on paid parental leave. It does not aim to be exhaustive but focuses on the impact paid parental leave has on the labour force participation of mothers in developed countries. Four aspects of paid parental leave are explored, including the impacts of: introducing paid parental leave; changing the duration of existing paid parental leave; changing the generosity of existing paid parental leave payments; and paid paternity leave. It interprets the implications in the context of Australia, and includes descriptive information on the recent and current situation in Australia.
... The first row of Table 3 gives the results for regression equation 1. To be consistent with the original paper by Das and Polachek (2015) upon which my study is based on, I only present the main coefficient of interest, and omit all other coefficients. They are, however, available from the author upon request. ...
Preprint
I study how Rhode Island's newly passed Temporary Caregiver Insurance program affects labor force participation rate, unemployment rate, and unemployment duration of young women working in Rhode Island relative to everyone else in the country. I use March CPS data and employ difference-indifference methodology to identify causal impact of this policy on my labor market outcome variables. I find some evidence of increase in labor force participation rate of young women relative to everyone else. I also find that unemployment duration of young women in Rhode Island increases more following this policy than that of the control group. My results for unemployment rate are mixed depending on which group I consider as my control group. I further test whether this policy differentially affects people working in firms with over 50 employees and find robust results associated with an increase in labor force participation rate of young women in firms hiring over 50 employees. Finally, I perform robustness checks by conducting placebo tests using New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington in order to validate my findings.
... favourable contracts (Das, Polachek, 2015). At the beginning of their ca reers, employees are relatively often employed on the basis of atypical contracts, which may result in delaying the decision to give birth to the first child until relative professional stability is achieved (Adserà, 2004). ...
Article
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The aim of the paper is to describe availability and usage of parental leaves for women of reproductive age. We show the motivation for introducing the leaves and their history in Poland. Based on data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO; Polish: GUS), Social Insurance Institution (SII; Polish: ZUS) and Labour Force Survey (LFS; Polish: BAEL), the use of maternity leave in Poland are presented and potential problems related to it are discussed.
... Lastly, the increase in repeat leave-taking could arise due to an increase in subsequent fertility, but since our data do not contain information on births, we cannot examine this possibility directly. 9 Our study builds on several recent papers that use survey data to analyze the labor market effects of CA-PFL with difference-in-difference (DD) designs (Bartel et al., 2018;Baum & Ruhm, 2016;Byker, 2016;Das & Polachek, 2015;Rossin-Slater et al., 2013;Stanczyk, 2016). 10 Our analysis of administrative data can overcome several limitations of these studies, which include small sample sizes, measurement error, non-response bias, lack of panel data, and missing information on key variables such as PFL take-up and leave duration. ...
Article
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We use 10 years of California administrative data with a regression kink design to estimate the causal impacts of benefits in the first state‐level paid family leave program for women with earnings near the maximum benefit threshold. We find no evidence that a higher weekly benefit amount (WBA) increases leave duration or leads to adverse future labor market outcomes for this group. In contrast, we document that a rise in the WBA leads to an increased likelihood of returning to the pre‐leave firm (conditional on any employment) and of making a subsequent paid family leave claim.
... Our paper also contributes to a growing literature on the determinants of public short-term leave takeup, which in the U.S. has mostly focused on the implementation of California's first-in-the-nation PFL program in 2004 (Rossin-Slater et al., 2013;Das and Polachek, 2015;Baum and Ruhm, 2016;Bartel et al., 2018). 4 Outside the U.S., many studies examine the effects of extensions in PFL policies (or, less frequently, introductions of new programs) on parental leave-taking and labor market outcomes (see Rossin-Slater, 2018;Olivetti and Petrongolo, 2017 for recent overviews), but less is known about the use of temporary DI programs. ...
... Consistently, the results for the German reform implementing one year of paid leave show a positive effect on female employment (Spiess and Wrohlich;2008;Kluve and Tamm, 2013;Geyer et al., 2015). Only in some countries under the liberal regime, which is characterized by a lack of job protection during leave, do some negative employment or career effects appear, and the same is true for leaves shorter than one year (Das and Polachek, 2015;Stearns, 2016). Regarding wages, in Germany, long leaves of two or three years that are poorly or not remunerated negatively affect women's wages up to eight years after returning to work (Schönberg and Ludsteck, 2014); in the case of France, the effect may last up to ten years (Lequien, 2012). ...
... Specifically, the study showed a 4.8 percent increase in the likelihood of new mothers returning to work one year after birth, and an increase in leave-taking for both mothers (up to four months) and fathers (up to two weeks) in California. Das & Polachek (2015) isolated young women, ages 18 to 41, in California to show a net increase in labor market participation coupled with increases in unemployment of the same population. ...
Thesis
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Despite numerous positive outcomes associated with paid care leave (PCL) policies (i.e. maternity leave, family leave) such as wage replacement and job continuity, United States is a notable outlier among its peers as the only advanced nation without a federal paid leave program. Using a policy experiment around the 500-employee cutoff associated with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), my dissertation examined US employer responses PCL regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. To identify how American firms perceive and react to PCL regulations, a unique survey was administered to 306 business managers in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas and analyzed through binary logistic regressions across 19 outcomes. Regressions were performed on the full dataset, subsets associated with the policy experiment, FFCRA users, and six additional subsets corresponding to different employee management structures. Concurrently, a document analysis-based scorecard of Fortune 500 companies’ actions during the COVID-19 pandemic established a triangulation device for the statistical analysis. In general, while 54.6 percent of firms reported cost concerns with PCL policies such as FFCRA, my results found that firms reporting PCL cost concerns were more likely to report non-employee focused operational changes such as increases in prices or a change in the number of locations instead of the predicted explicit employee-oriented set of outcomes such as layoffs or wage decreases. Furthermore, many outcomes resulted from firm characteristics – firm size, industry, and location – proving firm responses to government regulation is a dynamic and dependent on the unique circumstances of each company. As such, PCL cost concerns held significant predictive power across certain subsets of participating companies, such as FFCRA users who were more likely to change their employee headcount. Thus, the assumed cost burden of PCL policies is more likely to predict outcomes such as an increase in prices, while the central policy of my dissertation, FFCRA, may have been more disruptive than helpful for small American firms.
Preprint
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Raising a newborn child involves not only financial resources, but also time investment from the parents. A time constraint can affect important decisions made by parents at the early stages of an infant's life. One form of investment that is particularly important is vaccinating an infant. I analyze how time constraints affect immunizing an infant on time. To establish a causal relationship, I exploit California's implementation of Paid Parental Leave Program in 2004 as a natural experiment. I use DTP-2, HIB-2, HepB-2, Polio-2 because they are vaccines that should be given to an infant before they are 4 months old. Using a nationally representative dataset from National Immunization Survey, I find evidence that the policy reduced late vaccinations for children born to parents in California after the policy was implemented. I find no evidence of racial or marital heterogeneity. However, I do find evidence suggesting that the policy had a stronger impact on families that are below the poverty line. I conduct a series of falsification tests and robustness checks to test the validity of my results. My results also survive several placebo tests.
Article
Employer mandates typically have small effects on wages and employment. Such effects should be most evident using data on employment transitions and wages among new hires. Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) provides county by quarter by demographic group data on the number and earnings of new hires, separations, and recalls (extended leaves). The QWI is used to examine the effects of California's 2004 paid family leave (CPFL) program, comparing outcomes for young women in California to those for other workers within and outside of California. CPFL had little effect on earnings for young women, but increased separations, hiring, and worker mobility.
Article
Between the 1980s and the late 1990s, France and Belgium introduced two long‐leave schemes and several measures to support childcare at home. Although this change was presented under the umbrella of the ‘free‐choice‐for‐women’ rhetoric, it moved both countries towards a more familistic model. To evaluate the impact of this reform phase on female labour force participation, the present study employed the synthetic control method. This approach made it possible to contrast the evolution of the French and Belgian female labour force participation rates, observed in consequence of the implementation of the policies under investigation, with the corresponding evolution of the same rates reconstructed in the absence of such family programmes. The results of this exercise suggest that if France and Belgium had not undergone this policy treatment, their female labour market participation rates would have been higher than those actually measured. Key Practitioner Message: • Combining long‐leave schemes with low incentives to support employment of a childminder obstructs female labour force participation.
Article
In this study, I apply the perspective of gendered organizations to nursing and use ethnographically informed career biographies of nurse practitioners, a subset of highly credentialed nurses, to investigate the reproduction of gender by inclusionary institutional practices. My findings illustrate how nursing’s historically subordinate position as a female profession has led to institutional arrangements and aspirational resources for contemporary careers. Features such as flexible educational institutions and an extended credentials ladder allow women to recast structural constraints into individual possibilities. This recasting allows individuals to make careers but also recirculates notions of “flexible women” whose careers are institutionalized as secondary to family concerns.
Article
State laws requiring employers to verify workers' employment eligibility may reduce employment and earnings among unauthorized workers and make it difficult for them to switch jobs. Using data from the 2005–2014 Quarterly Workforce Indicators, we find evidence of a reduction in employment and job turnover among Hispanics as a whole in states that require all employers to verify employment eligibility. These adverse effects become larger as the share of likely unauthorized Hispanic workers falls. The drop in job turnover may be due to the laws trapping some Hispanic workers in their jobs. There is little effect on employment or job turnover among non-Hispanic whites or blacks. There is no effect on average pay for all groups of workers. (JEL J15, J61, J68)
Article
Paid family leave allows workers to take time off from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition, with reduced financial risk and increased job continuity. In 2004, California was the first state in the nation to implement a paid family leave program allowing workers to take up to 8 weeks off work with partial pay to care for their own or a family member’s serious health condition. Although the effects of California’s law on the labor supply of parents of newborns have been extensively studied, the role of paid family leave in the labor supply of workers who may need to provide care for a spouse has not been studied widely. We examine the effects of California’s law on the employment of workers who are aged 45–64 and have a disabled spouse, using the 2001–2008 American Community Survey. Our preferred estimates suggest the paid leave program increased the employment of 45- to 64-year-old women with a disabled spouse in California by around 0.9 percentage points (or 1.4% on a prelaw base rate of 65.9%) in the postlaw period compared with their counterparts in other states, with a 2.9 percentage point rise in private-sector employment. The employment of men with a disabled spouse in California also increased, but by a smaller amount: 0.7 percentage points (or 0.8% on a prelaw base 86.8%; with a nonsignificant 0.4 percentage point decrease in private-sector employment).
Article
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This paper studies the long-term effects of paid parental leave policy on breastfeeding duration. I use California's Paid Family Leave mandate that was implemented in 2004 as a natural experiment to establish a causal relationship between parental time and breastfeeding duration. Using public data from the National Immunization Survey and difference-indifference estimation technique, I find evidence suggesting a positive impact of California's parental leave policy on improving breastfeeding rates, particularly for children born to poor families. My estimates suggest that breastfeeding of children from poor households improved by approximately 4 percentage points.
Article
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The primary objective of the California Paid Family Leave (CA-PFL) program is to ease the burden of parenthood. One unintended consequence is that employers may bear the cost of the CA-PFL program and respond by changing their demand for those most likely to take-up the policy. I examine how the employment and wages of women of childbearing age (i.e., young women) change relative to men of the same corresponding age group (i.e., young men) in response to the enactment and to the implementation of the program. Exploiting variation in paid family leave access across industries and firm sizes, I find the CA-PFL program decreases employment for young women compared to young men by approximately 2.0% across industries and 3.0% across firm sizes. Furthermore, I find that younger women experience a statistically significant 0.2% decrease in wages relative to young men across industries and no significant change in wages when compared to young men across firm sizes. In conclusion, most women enjoy the benefits of paid family leave, but a few young women are unable to attain employment.
Article
California's paid family leave (PFL)policy improved mothers’ labor market outcomes, however, the health impacts of this program are less studied. I compare child and parental health of likely eligible households to a series of control groups before and after California's PFL program was implemented. I find improvements in parent-reported overall child health and suggestive improvements in maternal mental health status. Findings also suggest a reduction in asthma and a greater likelihood that parents feel they are coping well with the day-to-day demands of parenting. There are no significant effects on respiratory or food allergies, or father's mental health status. The results are robust to multiple control groups and placebo tests.
Article
Consistent with Pope Francis's efforts to eradicate social exclusion, most countries in the world have already adopted care leave policies in an effort to reduce the conflict between being an employee and being a caregiver. Care leave policies allow workers time off for family or for self‐care. Historically, care leave policies such as maternity leave are viewed as an employee benefit akin to short‐term disability leave, providing job‐protected time off for new mothers. This study reviews the literature of the short‐ and long‐run economic and societal effects of care leave policies globally, with a specific focus on care leave policies in the United States. Care leave produces positive labor market and health outcomes, including increases in leave taking, improvement in replacement wages, improvements to profitability and employee morale, increases in female workforce participation and continuity, increases in birth weight, and decreases in infant mortality. Despite positive effects, labor market inequalities such as decreases in female labor market participation rates, gender wage gaps, and occupational segregation are often promoted by care leave policies. The conflicted findings in care leave research muddle the anticipated effects of paid care leave but allow room for alternative policy recommendations.
Article
We use a difference-in-differences model with individual fixed effects to evaluate a 1999 Spanish law granting employment protection to workers with children younger than 6 who had asked for a shorter workweek due to family responsibilities. Our analysis shows that well-intended policies can potentially backfire and aggravate labor market inequalities between men and women, since there is a very gendered take-up, with only women typically requesting part-time work. After the law was enacted, employers were 49% less likely to hire women of childbearing age, 40% more likely to separate from them, and 37% less likely to promote them to permanent contracts, increasing female non-employment by 4% to 8% relative to men of similar age. The results are similar using older women unaffected by the law as a comparison group. Moreover, the law penalized all women of childbearing age, even those who did not have children. These effects were largest in low-skill jobs, at firms with less than 10 employees, and in industries with few part-time workers. These findings are robust to several sensitivity analyses and placebo tests.
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Although paid family leave (PFL) has the potential to improve labor market and other outcomes for mothers, there is also concern that PFL might also lead to discrimination against women of childbearing age. We examine the impact of California's paid family leave law (CA‐PFL) on labor market outcomes over time during the post‐law decade, as well as the law's effect for groups with differing levels of education. Results indicate that the law had negligible impacts on young women's labor force participation, unemployment duration, and earnings, but persistent small negative impacts on their relative employment. The negative employment impacts are concentrated among college‐educated women, for whom the law is associated with a 2–3 percentage point decrease in labor force participation and a 1–2 percentage point decline in employment. The CA‐PFL does not appear to have impacted the relative labor force participation, employment, unemployment duration, or earnings of less‐educated young females.
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This study uses difference in difference methodology applied to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2011 to assess the impact of California’s paid family leave law on labor market outcomes of unpaid care providers, controlling for nationwide compositional changes in the sample of unpaid care providers. I find California’s paid family leave law increased the likelihood of being an unpaid care provider in the labor force by 1% among women and the higher educated, and by 2% among those ages 50 or older. Increased labor force participation enhances the retirement preparedness of unpaid care providers, most of whom are women, and suggests a role for paid leave policies in tackling the U.S. retirement savings shortfall.
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Mothers caring for an infant or toddler continue to face barriers in returning to work after child birth. Mothers caring for an infant or toddler with a disability, however, may face even greater barriers. This article contributes to the literature by exploring the employment costs for this group of mothers using a novel Australian administrative data set. The employment patterns of mothers with and without a disabled infant or toddler are compared both before and after child birth. The data follow 7600 mothers on a bi-weekly basis for the entire period 12 months before and the 24 months after child birth and contain information on the disability status of the child, measures of employment and the intensity of employment. I find that mothers of disabled toddlers and infants suffer employment disadvantages relative to mothers of non-disabled children. The employment gaps grow from approximately 6 percentage points shortly after their children are born to 14–17 percentage points when their children are 12–24 months old. The employment gaps exist for full-time employment as well as for short part-time employment.
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It is typically found that the labour force participation of women is negatively affected by the presence of young children. This paper focuses on the causality, in the sense of Granger's definition, between the participation of mothers of young children and childcare provision. It is found that childcare Granger causes participation without feedback, which supports the claim that women could be constrained in their participation by the lack of childcare facilities. The absence of a feedback mechanism raises the issue of childcare supply not reacting to market mechanisms. Copyright 2002 by Taylor and Francis Group
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Juggling breastfeeding and paid work can challenge breastfeeding success. We examined the relationship between breastfeeding and maternity leave before and after delivery among working mothers in Southern California. California is 1 of only 5 states in the United States providing paid pregnancy leave that can be extended for infant bonding. Drawing from a case-control study of preterm birth and low birth weight, 770 full-time working mothers were compared on whether they established breastfeeding in the first month. For those who established breastfeeding, we examined duration. Eligible women participated in California's Prenatal Screening Program; delivered live births between July 2002 and December 2003; were > or =18 years old; had a singleton birth without congenital anomalies; and had a US mailing address. We assessed whether maternity leave and other occupational characteristics predicted breastfeeding cessation and used multivariate regression models weighted for probability of sampling to calculate odds ratios for breastfeeding establishment and hazards ratios for breastfeeding cessation. A maternity leave of < or =6 weeks or 6 to 12 weeks after delivery was associated, respectively, with a fourfold and twofold higher odds of failure to establish breastfeeding and an increased probability of cessation after successful establishment, relative to women not returning to work, after adjusting for covariates. The impact of short postpartum leave on breastfeeding cessation was stronger among nonmanagers, women with inflexible jobs, and with high psychosocial distress. Antenatal leave in the last month of pregnancy was not associated with breastfeeding establishment or duration. Postpartum maternity leave may have a positive effect on breastfeeding among full-time workers, particularly those who hold nonmanagerial positions, lack job flexibility, or experience psychosocial distress. Pediatricians should encourage patients to take maternity leave and advocate for extending paid postpartum leave and flexibility in working conditions for breastfeeding women.
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In 2004, California's Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (PFLI) became the first state program to provide paid leave to care for an ill family member. To assess awareness and use of the program by employed parents of children with special health care needs, a population likely to need leave. Telephone interviews with successive cohorts of employed parents before (November 21, 2003-January 31, 2004; n = 754) and after (November 18, 2005-January 31, 2006; n = 766) PFLI began, randomly sampled from 2 children's hospitals, one in California (with PFLI) and the other in Illinois (without PFLI). Response rates were 82% before and 81% after (California), and 80% before and 74% after (Illinois). Taking leave, length of leave, unmet need for leave, and awareness and use of PFLI. Similar percentages of parents at the California site reported taking at least 1 day of leave to care for their ill child before (295 [81%]) and after (327 [79%]) PFLI, taking at least 4 weeks before (64 [21%]) and after (74 [19%]) PFLI, and at least once in the past year not missing work despite believing their child's illness necessitated it before (152 [41%]) and after (156 [41%]) PFLI. Relative to Illinois, parents at the California site reported no change from before to after PFLI in taking at least 1 day of leave (difference of differences, -3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -13% to 7%); taking at least 4 weeks of leave (1%; 95% CI, -9% to 10%); or not missing work, despite believing their child's illness necessitated it (-1%; 95% CI, -13% to 10%). Only 77 parents (18%) had heard of PFLI approximately 18 months after the program began, and only 20 (5%) had used it. Even among parents without other access to paid leave, awareness and use of PFLI were minimal. Parents of children with special health care needs receiving care at a California hospital were generally unaware of PFLI and rarely used it. Among parents of children with special health care needs, taking leave in California did not increase after PFLI implementation compared with Illinois.
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Parents of children with special health care needs are especially vulnerable to work-family conflicts that family leave benefits might help resolve. We examined leave-taking among full-time-employed parents of children with special health care needs. We identified all children with special health care needs in 2 large inpatient/outpatient systems in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, and randomly selected 800 per site. From November 2003 to January 2004, we conducted telephone interviews with 1105 (87% of eligible and successfully contacted) parents. Among the sample's 574 full-time-employed parents, we examined whether leave benefits predicted missing any work for child illness, missing >4 weeks for child illness, and ability to miss work whenever their child needed them. Forty-eight percent of full-time-employed parents qualified for federal Family and Medical Leave Act benefits; 30% reported employer-provided leave benefits (not including sick leave/vacation). In the previous year, their children averaged 20 missed school/child care days, 12 doctor/emergency department visits, and 1.7 hospitalizations. Although 81% of parents missed work for child illness, 41% reported not always missing work when their child needed them, and 40% of leave-takers reported returning to work too soon. In multivariate regressions, parents who were eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act benefits and aware of their eligibility had 3.0 times greater odds of missing work for child illness than ineligible parents. Parents with >4 weeks of employer-provided leave benefits had 4.7 times greater odds of missing >4 weeks than parents without benefits. Parents with paid leave benefits had 2.8 times greater odds than other parents of missing work whenever their child needed them. Full-time-employed parents of children with special health care needs experience severe work-family conflicts. Although most have leave benefits, many report unmet need for leave. Access to Family and Medical Leave Act benefits and employer-provided leave may greatly affect leave-taking.
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This analysis uses March Current Population Survey data from 1999 to 2010 and a differences-in-differences approach to examine how California's first in the nation paid family leave (PFL) program affected leave-taking by mothers following childbirth, as well as subsequent labor market outcomes. We obtain robust evidence that the California program doubled the overall use of maternity leave, increasing it from an average of three to six weeks for new mothers--with some evidence of particularly large growth for less advantaged groups. We also provide evidence that PFL increased the usual weekly work hours of employed mothers of 1- to 3-year-old children by 10 to 17 percent and that their wage incomes may have risen by a similar amount.
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Using three datasets for West Germany, we estimate the effect of the extension of parental leave from between 10 and 18 to 36months on young women’s participation in job-related training. Specifically, we employ difference-in-differences identification strategies using control groups of older women and young and older men. We find that parental leave extension negatively affects job-related training for young women, even if they do not have children, especially when the focus is on employer-arranged training. There is tentative evidence that young women partly compensated for this reduction in employer-arranged training by increasing training on their own initiative. KeywordsPolicy–Evaluation–Education
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This report examines the parental leave policies in 21 high-income nations and identifies five "best practices" for parental leave policies. The study shows that the U.S. has the least generous leave policies of the 21 countries examined in the report. The states exhibiting the five best practices include Finland, France, Greece, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.
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This paper investigates the role of skill depreciation in the relationship between work interruptions and subsequent wages. Using Swedish data from two waves (1994 and 1998) of the International Adult Literacy Survey, which included results of tests gauging respondents' ability to read and make practical use of printed information, the authors are able to analyze changes in individuals' skills as a function of time out of work. They find statistically strong evidence of a negative relationship between work interruptions and skills. The analysis suggests that depreciation of general skills was economically important. A full year of non-employment, for example, was associated with a 5-percentile move down the skill distribution.
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This paper analyses the increase in mothers' employment in Britain over 1974-2000 using the General Household Survey. We isolated those birth cohorts whose mothers experienced significant increases in employment and compared those increases to changes in policies. The results suggest that maternity rights have had a profound effect on employment, but this effect varies by the wage opportunities of mothers. Maternity rights have induced a behaviour change in when mothers return to work. Many who previously would not have gone back to work until their children were age 3-5 are now returning to work within the first year. This effect has been most marked among better educated and higher paid mothers. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.
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