Does Paid Leave Promote Employment Stability?

Heather D. Hill, University of Chicago

This study examines whether employee access to paid leave is associated with the probability of job retention. Paid leave is understudied relative to other job characteristics, yet it is theoretically plausible that workers with paid leave are better able to address family responsibilities without having to quit a job or risk being fired. In fact, this is one of the compelling, but unsubstantiated, arguments in favor of several current state and federal initiatives aimed at mandating paid leave. Using two panels of the nationally-representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component, I estimate logistic regression models predicting the probability of retaining a current job in four future rounds of data collection as a function of the availability of paid leave, controlling for observed and unobserved worker and job characteristics. Results suggest that access to paid leave increases the probability of holding the same job five months later by six percentage points.

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Presented in Session 35: Family Leave Policies