Tag: Paid Leave

In this AEI Events Podcast, the members of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave discuss their report and their perspectives on paid family and medical leave, hosted by AEI’s Aparna Mathur. This is part 2 of the event, which includes the first and second panel discussion.

The first panel discusses the current landscape and why paid leave needs reform. This panel is comprised of Heather Boushey (Washington Center for Equitable Growth) and Harry J. Holzer (Georgetown University), and is moderated by Richard V. Reeves (Brookings Institution). The second panel explores the challenges of providing paid leave and the benefits and costs of policy designs. This panel is comprised of Doug Holtz-Eakin (American Action Forum) and Betsey Stevenson (University of Michigan), and is moderated by Chrisopher J. Ruhm (University of Virginia).

In this AEI Events Podcast, the members of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave discuss their report and their perspectives on paid family and medical leave. This is part 1 of the event, which includes the presentation of the report and further reflections on the report.

First, AEI’s Aparna Mathur, joined by the Brookings Institution’s Isabel V. Sawhill, explains the reasons for paid leave and the incomplete existing patchwork of state and private policies. Further reflections are provided by Abby M. McCloskey (McCloskey Policy LLC) and Jane Waldfogel (Columbia University).

On this week’s episode of Banter, Heather Boushey and Doug Holtz-Eakin discuss paid family and medical leave. Boushey serves as the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and Holtz-Eakin serves as president of American Action Forum. Boushey and Holtz-Eakin participated in the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave organized by AEI resident scholar Aparna Mathur and the Brookings Institution’s Isabel Sawhill. The working group produced a report titled, “Paid Family and Medical Leave: An Issue Whose Time Has Come.” The links below will take you to the full report as well as the video from the report’s launch event.

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On Free Lunches and the Government Mandating Benefits

 

shutterstock_201202373_free_lunchMandating companies pay this or that benefit may seem like a free lunch to policymakers. Workers are helped, and taxpayers don’t bear the burden. Yet as Larry Summers wrote in “Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits” back in 1989: “If policymakers fail to recognize the costs of mandated benefits because they do not appear in the government budget, then mandated benefit programs could lead to excessive spending on social programs. There is no sense in which benefits become ‘free’ just because the government mandates that employers offer them to workers. … Mandated benefit programs can work against the interests of those who most require the benefit being offered.”

The Economist looks at this issue, in the context of part-timers, freelancers, and independent contract. Gig economy alert!

The main benefits associated with employment fall into three broad categories: public pensions, health care, and unemployment insurance. In the case of pensions, governments usually levy payroll taxes on firms in proportion to their workforce, and use the proceeds to support pensioners. Hire a worker as a contractor, and firms need not pay the levy; in America, the self-employed must instead pay it themselves. Workers’ advocates claim this means contractors face higher tax rates than employees.