Paid Family Leave, Fathers’ Leave-Taking, and Leave-Sharing in Dual-Earner Households

42 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2015 Last revised: 8 Dec 2015

See all articles by Ann P. Bartel

Ann P. Bartel

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Maya Rossin-Slater

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

This paper provides quasi-experimental evidence on the impact of paid leave legislation on fathers’ leave-taking, as well as on the division of leave between mothers and fathers in dual-earner households. Using difference-in-difference and difference-in-difference-in-difference designs, we study California’s Paid Family Leave (CA-PFL) program, which is the first source of government-provided paid parental leave available to fathers in the United States. Our results show that fathers in California are 0.9 percentage points—or 46 percent relative to the pre-treatment mean—more likely to take leave in the first year of their children’s lives when CA-PFL is available. We also examine how parents allocate leave in households where both parents work. We find that CA-PFL increases father-only leave-taking (i.e., father on leave while mother is at work) by 50 percent and joint leave-taking (i.e., both parents on leave at the same time) by 28 percent. These effects are much larger for fathers of sons than for fathers of daughters, and almost entirely driven by fathers of first-born children and fathers in occupations with a high share of female workers.

Suggested Citation

Bartel, Ann P. and Rossin-Slater, Maya and Ruhm, Christopher J. and Stearns, Jenna and Waldfogel, Jane, Paid Family Leave, Fathers’ Leave-Taking, and Leave-Sharing in Dual-Earner Households (November 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21747, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2694414

Ann P. Bartel (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Maya Rossin-Slater

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

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Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis ( email )

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Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

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