Stanford University


The Impacts of Paid Family Leave Benefits: Regression Kink Evidence from California Administrative Data

Kelly Bedard

Maya Rossin-Slater

Journal of Policy Management and Analysis
Volume 39, Issue 4
Fall 2020

We use 10 years of California administrative data with a regression kink design to estimate the causal impacts of benefits in the first state‐level paid family leave program for women with earnings near the maximum benefit threshold.

We find no evidence that a higher weekly benefit amount (WBA) increases leave duration or leads to adverse future labor market outcomes for this group. In contrast, we document that a rise in the WBA leads to an increased likelihood of returning to the pre‐leave firm (conditional on any employment) and of making a subsequent paid family leave claim.

Stanford University