Nicolas Ziebarth awarded grant from Cornell Center for Social Sciences

Nicolas Ziebarth

This project will represent a major, timely, and highly policy-relevant contribution to research on paid sick leave in the U.S., and in particular on the workings of sick pay mandates.

Nicolas Ziebarth
Policy Analysis and Management

The proposed research project will empirically evaluate the effectiveness of sick pay mandates as a policy instrument to reduce labor market inequalities in the United States. It will use administrative data from the National Compensation Survey (NCS) from 2009 to 2018 to first document the existing large inequalities in access to paid sick leave by socio-demographics and industries. Next, using difference-in-differences and event-study methods, it will assess the effectiveness of sick pay mandates in reducing labor market inequalities. Preliminary findings suggest that the mandates have been effective in reducing inequalities in access to paid sick leave, particularly in small businesses, non-unionized and part-time jobs. Moreover, preliminary findings do not provide evidence for unintended consequences, such as reductions in nonmandated benefits like vacation days. Also, increases in labor costs have been modest.