≡ Menu

Who’d a-Thunk It?

That (as reported by the New York Times) mandated family-leave ‘benefits’ often harm many of the same workers that these mandated ‘benefits’ are ostensibly meant to help.  A slice:

Spain passed a law in 1999 giving workers with children younger than 7 the right to ask for reduced hours without fear of being laid off. Those who took advantage of it were nearly all women.

Over the next decade, companies were 6 percent less likely to hire women of childbearing age compared with men, 37 percent less likely to promote them and 45 percent more likely to dismiss them, according to a study led by Daniel Fernández-Kranz, an economist at IE Business School in Madrid. The probability of women of childbearing age not being employed climbed 20 percent. Another result: Women were more likely to be in less stable, short-term contract jobs, which are not required to provide such benefits.

Hmmm….  Let’s see.  When employers’ costs of employing workers rise, employers employ fewer of those workers, or employ those workers on terms that help to offset the rise in the cost of employing those workers.  Now what kind of crazy economic logic is that? 🙂  Reality, it seems, really isn’t optional.

One sigh-inducing fact about this otherwise pretty good NYT report is that nowhere does the reporter suggest that one way to avoid the unintended ill-consequences of such government mandates this is to allow workers to bargain unrestrained with employers – that is, to end the mandates altogether.