Anand discusses research on paid leave with U.S. policymakers 

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Priyanka Anand, associate professor of Health Administration and Policy, shared her research with staffers from the Joint Economic Committee and the National Partnership for Women and Families. 

Priyanka Anand
Priyanka Anand, associate professor of Health Administration and Policy

Priyanka Anand, associate professor of Health Administration and Policy, has conducted research on the impact of paid family leave mandates on labor supply and caregiving decisions following a spousal disability or health shock. Recently, she discussed her research with staffers on the U.S. Joint Economic Committee, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and a legislative aid from Senator Jamie Raskin’s office.  

Anand’s trip to the Hill allowed for important dialogue about paid leave, which remains a hot topic after being excluded from the recent Inflation Reduction Act. The United States does not have a universal paid family leave policy. Her research was featured in the 2022 Economic Report of the President.   

With staffers on the Joint Economic Committee, Anand provided a brief overview of her research and answered their questions related to how covid has changed the perspective on paid leave, gender differences in the impact of paid leave, and some of the long-term benefits of receiving federal disability benefits. Anand says they were interested in learning about findings regarding the benefits of expanding access to paid leave and providing federal disability benefits. The Joint Economic Committee uses data to shape the economic narrative via hearings and reports. 

“I was happy to see that the staffers were still interested in talking about paid leave, but I think everyone (myself included) was still disappointed about how it got left out of the Inflation Reduction Act and uncertain about when will be the next chance to pass any kind of universal paid leave policy,” said Anand. “Our findings have important policy implications for current efforts to expand access to paid leave to those who are most in need. I am still hopeful that change can happen.” 

Anand also met with a representative from the National Partnership for Women and Families to discuss a variety of issues related to paid leave, including why the adoption of paid family leave is so low, even in states with a paid leave policy, and whether there was a way to incentivize employers to encourage their employees to use paid leave when they are eligible. They discussed the abundance of research on parental leave, but the lack of research on paid sick leave and paid caregiving leave, which is part of Anand’s research focus. The National Partnership for Women and Families aims to improve the lives of women and families by achieving equality for all women. 

“Learning what questions policymakers are asking about paid leave and disability policy was really helpful for me to use when shaping the direction of my future research. It was also helpful to learn about how to make my research most accessible to them since it can lead to policy changes,” said Anand. 

The meetings were set up for Anand as part of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Grantee Conference that showcases cutting-edge research on how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability. Equitable Growth is funding Anand’s current research that uses machine learning methods to predict who has access to paid leave through their employer. Their preliminary results show that workers who most need paid leave because of a household shock are less likely to have access to it.