Understanding the effects of California’s paid family and medical leave law on inequality in labor market outcomes for older adults
The project seeks to identify the causal impact of paid leave on older workers using the case of California’s paid family leave program. The research team will take a quasi-experimental approach, using data from the American Communities Survey to compare outcomes of older workers to younger workers in California and in comparison states, both before and after the program’s implementation. They will examine impacts on labor force participation, employment status, level of work effort, earnings, and income to provide a fuller picture of how the labor market experience is impacted by the policy. Importantly, the team will examine how effects vary by subgroup of workers and how paid leave affects disparities in labor force participation. There is little research on how provision of eldercare may affect the employment of caregivers, and similarly little research on how access to paid family leave may change the employment landscape for those who might be called on to provide eldercare. As increasing numbers of policymakers consider adopting paid family and medical leave programs, this research will provide timely and relevant information on how paid leave affects the labor force participation of people who are likely to have caregiving responsibilities.