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Disability and the labour market: a review of the empirical evidence


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  • Melanie K. Jones
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    Purpose – This paper aims to identify and draw together key themes in the literature relating to the impact of disability on labour market outcomes. In doing so it provides an overview of issues in estimation in empirical work relating to disability. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews the existing international evidence relating to the impact of disability on labour market outcomes. Findings – Regardless of country, data source or time period disability serves to reduce labour market prospects. Understanding the reasons for this requires consideration of issues such as separating discrimination from unobserved differences in productivity and preferences, the influence of heterogeneity within the disabled group and the dynamic effects of disability. Practical implications – The paper also reviews recent evidence concerning the labour market impact of significant changes in legislation affecting the disabled, particularly the introduction of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the USA. This evidence is particularly useful to policymakers. Originality/value – The paper provides a comprehensive review of the empirical evidence relating to the labour market impact of disability and the influence of recent changes in legislation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 405-424

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:35:y:2008:i:5:p:405-424

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

    Related research

    Keywords: Disabilities; Discrimination; Employment legislation; Labour market; Social alienation;


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    Cited by:
    1. Eirini-Christina Saloniki, 2014. "Investigating Exploitation and Productivity in Explaining the Disability Wage Penalty," Studies in Economics 1402, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Cottingham, Michael & Carroll, Michael S. & Phillips, Dennis & Karadakis, Kostas & Gearity, Brian T. & Drane, Dan, 2014. "Development and validation of the motivation scale for disability sport consumption," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 49-64.
    3. Abigail McKnight, 2014. "Disabled People’s Financial Histories: Uncovering the disability wealth-penalty," CASE Papers /181, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.


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