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We use novel administrative data to study trends and disparities in usage of California's first-in-the-nation paid family leave (PFL) program. We show that take-up for both bonding with a new child and caring for an ill family member increased over 2005–2014. Most women combine PFL with maternity leave from the State Disability Insurance system, resulting in leaves longer than 6 weeks. Most men take less than the full 6 weeks of PFL. Individuals in the lowest earnings quartile and in small firms are the least likely to take leave. There are important differences in take-up across industries, especially for men.


This article was originally published in AEA Papers & Proceedings, volume 108, in 2018.

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American Economic Association



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