Paid Family Leave, Fathers’ Leave-Taking, and Leave-Sharing in Dual-Earner Households

Using difference‐in‐difference and difference‐in‐difference‐in‐difference designs, we study California’s Paid Family Leave (CA‐PFL) program, the first source of government‐provided paid parental leave available to fathers in the Unites States. Relative to the pre‐treatment mean, fathers of infants in California are 46 percent more likely to be on leave when CA‐PFL is available. In households where both parents work, we find suggestive evidence that CA‐PFL increases both father‐only leave‐taking (i.e., father on leave while mother is at work) and joint leave‐taking (i.e., both parents on leave at the same time). Effects are larger for fathers of first‐born children than for fathers of later‐born children.

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Christopher J. Ruhm