Paid family leaves (PFL) are paid time off for family members who care for a newborn or for those who care for someone with a temporary disability or illness (caregiving). Although the US is not one of the countries that offers PFL, a few states have adopted their own policies. California, which adopted PFL in 2004, was the first state to do so. As of today, PFL is available in 11 states plus DC.
To better understand how PFL impacts job retention, a paper by Coile, Rossin-Slater and Su (2022) rely on a difference-in-difference strategy to examine job retention trends before and after the enactment of PFL. The authors examine the introduction of PFL to three large states, New York, California and New Jersey. To identify spouses and children who have suffered a health shock (i.e. hospitalization or surgery) during the survey, they use data from the 1996-2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. These authors found that:
…having access to PFL leads to a 7.0 percentage point decline in the probability that working wives whose spouse has a hospitalization or surgery report “leaving a job to care for home or family” in the survey interviews following the health shock….