Applied Micro Seminar - Jenna Stearns (UC Davis)
Title: Unequal Use of Social Insurance Beneﬁts: The Role of Employers
Abstract: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs are important sources of social insurance, but there is considerable inequality in beneﬁt take-up, and little is known about the role of ﬁrms in determining beneﬁt use. Using administrative data from California, we ﬁnd that higher quality ﬁrms—based on earnings premiums and other measures—have substantially higher public DI and PFL take-up rates,and that this relationship is particularly strong among the lowest-earning workers within the ﬁrm. Our results suggest that changes in ﬁrm behavior may impact social insurance use, thus reducing an important dimension of inequality in America.