Paid parental leave provides workers with financial compensation during temporary absences following the birth or adoption of a child. Private companies often provide paid leave and the federal government mandates 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave. Some policymakers have pushed for further government action. They claim that government-supported leave would markedly improve workers’ lives by improving labor-market outcomes and reducing gender inequality. In a new paper, Cato scholar Vanessa Brown Calder provides economic research and federal data that suggest otherwise.