(Forced) Feminist Firms

(Forced) Feminist Firms

Benjamin Bennett, Isil Erel, Léa H. Stern, Zexi Wang

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

December 04 2019

Last revised :

September 13 2020
SSRN Share


  • Paid Family Leave • 
  • Labor Force Participation • 
  • Gender • 
  • Talent Allocation • 
  • Firm performance

We explore how lowering labor market frictions for female workers affects corporate performance. Using the staggered adoption of state-level Paid Family Leave acts, we provide causal evidence on the value created by relieving frictions to accessing female talent, for private and public firms.

Reduced turnover and rising female leadership are potential mechanisms that contribute to performance gains. Across specifications, our estimates indicate that treated establishments’ productivity increases between 4% and 5% relative to neighbor control establishments. The treatment effect is larger when workers are in less religious counties and in those with more women of childbearing age.


Real name:
Benjamin Bennett
Real name:
Léa H. Stern
Real name:
Zexi Wang