Job Market Paper
Does Allowing Employees to Work from Home Reduce Turnover?
Evidence from the Telework Enhancement Act
I study federal government employees' response to the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act to measure willingness to work from home when given the opportunity and estimate the causal effect of teleworking on job turnover. This law required 66 percent of federal agencies to develop a telework policy. I compare changes in teleworking rates and turnover rates between agencies required by this law to provide a telework policy to agencies that are exempt. Difference-in-Difference estimates reveal that an agency offering a telework policy decreases turnover rates by about 8.9 percentage points in the three years after the Act. My estimates imply that choosing to telework reduced the probability of leaving a particular government agency by 13.7 percentage points in the three years after the Act. Both of these effects diminish noticeably in years four through six after the Act is passed. The reduction in turnover rates is equal between men and women and is most prominent for individuals aged 20-49, which is consistent with a larger effect among individuals likely to have young children. In addition, I find no evidence that teleworking affects promotions within six years after the Act.
Is the Road to Unemployment Paved with Good Intentions?
One consequence of the California Paid Family Leave (CA-PFL) program is that it may foster discrimination against women. I examine how employment and wages of women of childbearing age change relative to young men and older women in response to the program. Exploiting variation in paid family leave access across industries, I find the CA-PFL program decreases employment for young women by approximately 0.6% compared to young men and 0.2% compared to older women. Furthermore, I find minimal change in wages. Most women enjoy the benefits of paid family leave without compromising their wages, but a select few young women are unable to attain employment.