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CSDE Computational Demography Working Group (CDWG) Hosts Elizabeth Pelletier on the Effects of WA’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Policy on Maternal Employment (2/21/24)

Posted: 2/14/2024 ()

On February 7th from 3-4pm, Elizabeth Pelletier, PhD candidate at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, and CSDE T32 fellow, will present at the CDWG on Feb. 21st from 3:00-4:00pm. CDWG Will be Hybrid in Winter Quarter 2024. Attend in-person in Raitt 223 (The Demography Lab) or on Zoom (register here). Pelletier will present research, titled “The Effects of Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Policy on Maternal Employment”. Read more in the full story!

Abstract: Parents often experience unstable employment and volatile earnings around the time a child is born. Consequently, household income frequently falls at precisely the time families need increased resources to support a new child’s needs. Paid leave has emerged as a potentially promising way to smooth employment disruptions, support caregiving, and reduce inequalities by allowing more parents to afford time off. This paper studies the use and effects of a new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) policy in Washington state among a key population of interest: mothers of newborns. I describe use of the policy in its first few years, examining what share of eligible mothers claimed PFML and how these take-up rates varied across demographic and employment characteristics and over time as the policy rolled out. Next, I use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the causal effect of PFML on mothers’ employment trajectories, leveraging the policy’s discontinuous eligibility cutoff to compare outcomes among mothers whose work histories place them right above and below the cutoff. I estimate the effects of PFML on employment status, earnings and hours levels and volatility, and employer continuity among mothers around a birth.



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