As a member of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave, Betsey Stevenson has contributed to a recently released bipartisan report highlighting the benefits and costs of paid leave.
In the May 2017 report, titled “Paid family and medical leave: An issue whose time has come,” the ideologically diverse group reports that while there was disagreement about the specific design of a paid family leave policy, there was unanimous agreement that “some form of paid parental leave should be offered to help workers at the time of birth, adoption, or fostering a child.”
The group goes on to outline eight core principles to guide policymakers; to assess three existing proposals for paid family leave by prominent Democratic, Republican, and Independent policymakers; to offer data on the changing demographics of working families in the U.S.; to describe the status of existing state and federal family leave laws; and to outline a new compromise plan for consideration by policymakers.
Key elements of the group’s proposed compromise plan include “benefits available to both mothers and fathers, a wage-replacement rate of 70 percent up to a cap of $600 per week for eight weeks, and job protection for those who take leave.” The compromise plan could be financed, they say, by a payroll tax on employees and savings in other parts of the budget.
Betsey Stevenson is an associate professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. She served as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2014-16 and as chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor from 2010-11. She is a member of the bipartisan AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institution.