Research

Doctoral Dissertation Title: Essays on Paid Sick Leave in the United States

It consists of the following two essays.

Paid Sick Leave Mandates and Worker Mobility in the U.S.

Abstract: This study estimates the causal effect of access to paid sick leave on worker mobility, by exploiting variation in the implementation of local paid sick leave mandates over time in the U.S. I use May 2004 – June 2019 Current Population Survey (CPS) basic monthly data, and by taking a Difference-in-Differences approach, I find that the local mandates significantly reduce private sector employees’ monthly job turnover. This study is, to the best of my knowledge, the first to present the effect of local paid sick leave mandates in the U.S. on worker mobility.

The Effect of Access to Paid Sick Time on Fertility

Abstract: This study estimates the causal effect of access to paid sick leave at work on fertility. Using data from 2006 – 2018 American Community Survey (ACS), and the Synthetic Control method, I show that following the implementation of paid sick leave mandates in Connecticut, Washington DC and Seattle, there is a similar pattern: fertility rate sharply declines in the first few years, and then bounces back. Women are likely to postpone childbirth until they have accrued a certain amount of paid sick leave, in the absence of paid family leave or maternity leave. Access to paid sick leave also helps female workers balance career and family after childbirth. In addition, parents can take paid sick days off to look after ill children under the paid sick leave mandates. Local paid sick leave mandate in the U.S. were adopted rather recently, and the number of sick leave mandates increased very quickly since 2014. Little has been known about their impacts on childbirth. This study is, to the best of my knowledge, the first to examine the impacts of local paid sick leave mandates in the U.S. on fertility.

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