Earlier this month, Claire Cain Miller and Jim Tankersley wrote for the New York Times Upshot about Gavin Newsom’s anticipated paid leave proposal for California. Their piece highlights economic research showing that the absence of paid leave policies in the U.S. hinder women’s participation in the workforce and, in turn, hurts the U.S. economy. (For example, Miller and Tankersley cite a letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco projecting that a national parental leave policy could result in 5 million more workers joining the labor force.)
As politicians like Newsom grapple with the question of how to pay for more robust paid leave policies at the state-level, defining the costs of our current systems will be an important part of the process.
The health costs of not providing parental leave are another—and under-explored—part of the equation. Two recently published papers point to the negative public health outcomes of our current leave policies, specifically for new mothers.