The effects of paid sick leave on workers’ earnings dynamics: Evidence from Seattle

Grant Type: doctoral

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant description:

This project proposes to utilize administrative data from Washington state to study the impact of Seattle’s paid sick time ordinance on three specific research questions. First, how has the ordinance impacted earnings, hours, employment levels, and earnings volatility of workers covered by the new paid sick time law? Second, what share of worker volatility is due to within-job volatility (volatility due to changes in hours) versus between-job volatility (volatility from job turnover) as a result of the paid sick time ordinance? Third, do the above effects vary for workers in different firms, industries, firm sizes, and wage-rate employment subgroups? This work will add to what we know about the impacts of mandated employer-provided paid sick leave, including illuminating whether employer-mandated paid sick leave has employment effects and on whom. Wething’s study of earnings volatility has the potential to provide important evidence on the mechanism through which paid sick leave is impacting employment outcomes, including whether and how this might impact worker well-being and firm productivity.

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