Can Paid Sick Leave Mandates Reduce Leave-Taking?

46 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016

See all articles by Jenna Stearns

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis

Corey White

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Date Written: June 27, 2016

Abstract

Since 2006, several cities and states have implemented paid sick leave mandates. We examine the effects of paid sick leave mandates in Washington, D.C. (2008) and Connecticut (2011) on leave-taking behavior. After these policies are implemented, there are significant decreases in the aggregate rate of illness-related leave taking, relative to control groups, for both those directly affected and those not directly affected by the policy. Our results suggest that such policies can provide large positive public health externalities by allowing sick workers to stay home rather than coming to work and spreading their illness to customers and coworkers.

Keywords: Paid Sick Leave, Public Health, Externalities

JEL Classification: J75, I18, J33, J38

Suggested Citation

Stearns, Jenna and White, Corey, Can Paid Sick Leave Mandates Reduce Leave-Taking? (June 27, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2865904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2865904

Jenna Stearns (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Apt 153
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Corey White

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo ( email )

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
United States

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