Using IRS Tax Data to Measure the Long-Term Effects of California’s 2004 Paid Family Leave Act

Awarded Scholars:
Tanya S. Byker, Middlebury College
Martha J. Bailey, University of Michigan
Project Date:
Nov 2018
Award Amount:

Co-funded with the Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Research on the effects of family leave laws shows that, on average, the availability of paid leave increases leave taking. However, the evidence on the effects of paid leave on parents’ careers or their children’s outcomes in the short term for families at different places in the income distribution is limited. There is also a lack of research on the long-run effects of these programs on parents’ careers, childbearing, and marital stability. 

Economists Tanya Byker and Martha Bailey will study the extent to which California’s 2004 Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA) has affected the long-term labor-force attachment, employment, employer transitions, and wage growth of mothers and fathers, as well as family structure (both marital stability and childbearing). They will analyze large-scale Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax data, linked with Social Security Administration (SSA) data, to quantify the effects of the law.


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