State Paid Family Leave and Job Skill Requirements: Evidence from Job Postings

Project Dates

09/07/2017 -


Within the past few years, several studies have examined the impact of state paid family leave policies on individual outcomes, including the take-up of the leave, short-term employment and wages, and health and behavioral outcomes of children. There has been little work, however, on how this mandated benefit may change employer behavior or job dynamics. It has long been known that mandated benefits can raise the cost of labor, either through wages or minimum productivity standards, and understanding this adjustment margin is critical to evaluating the net benefits of paid family leave policies, as well as their distributional impacts. In this project, we use variation in state paid family leave policies over time and skill requirements found in more than 100 million job postings to investigate whether and how these policies affected advertised skill demand. We are careful to allow for heterogeneous responses by industry and occupation, which vary in average skill and how binding the leave policies are likely to be in practice.


W.E. Upjohn Institute

Subject Area

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Job security and unemployment dynamics; Wages, health insurance and other benefits