Unequal Use of Social Insurance Benefits: The Role of Employers

49 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Sarah Bana

Sarah Bana

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Kelly Bedard

University of California - Department of Economics

Maya Rossin-Slater

Columbia University

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

California's Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs have become important sources of social insurance, with benefit payments now exceeding those of the state's Unemployment Insurance program. However, there is considerable inequality in program take-up. While existing research shows that firm-specific factors explain a significant part of the growing earnings inequality in the U.S., little is known about the role of firms in determining the use of public leave-taking benefits. Using administrative data from California, we find strong evidence that DI and PFL program take-up is substantially higher in firms with high earnings premiums. A one standard deviation increase in the firm premium is associated with a 57 percent higher claim rate incidence. Our results suggest that changes in firm behavior have the potential to impact social insurance use and thus reduce an important dimension of inequality in America.

Keywords: disability insurance, paid family leave, social insurance, firm premium

JEL Classification: J31, J32, J38

Suggested Citation

Bana, Sarah and Bedard, Kelly and Rossin-Slater, Maya and Stearns, Jenna, Unequal Use of Social Insurance Benefits: The Role of Employers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11882, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273722

Sarah Bana (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

Kelly Bedard

University of California - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-5571 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Maya Rossin-Slater

Columbia University ( email )

1022 International Affairs Bldg
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Jenna Stearns

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Apt 153
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
9
Abstract Views
280
PlumX Metrics