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The Economic Well-Being of the Disabled: 1962-84


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  • Robert Haveman
  • Barbara Wolfe


This paper focuses on the disabled working age population and tracks the changes in their labor market performance, their receipt of public income transfers, and their economic well-being over the 1962-1984 period. The changes over time in these indicators are compared with those of the nondisabled population. The paper concludes that from the 1960s until the mid-1970s, the disabled improved their performance in the labor market; their real earnings rose both absolutely and relatively. The economic well-being of disabled males also increased rapidly during this period. However, in the last half of the 1970s the earnings of the disabled population fell rapidly, although the rapid growth of transfer income cushioned this fall until the late 1970s. Then, and especially after 1980, the controversial retrenchment in disability benefit programs struck, and the well-being of the disabled fell further.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 25 (1990)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 32-54

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:25:y:1990:i:1:p:32-54

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Cited by:
  1. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2006. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," Working Papers, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago 0610, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Sophie Mitra, 2009. "Disability Cash Transfers in the Context of Poverty and Unemployment: the Case of South Africa," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series, Fordham University, Department of Economics dp2009-08, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2000. "Microdata Panel Data and Public Policy: National and Cross-National Perspectives," Center for Policy Research Working Papers, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University 23, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  4. Marjorie Baldwin & Edward J. Schumacher, 1999. "Job Mobility among Workers with Disabilities," Working Papers, East Carolina University, Department of Economics 9911, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  5. John Bound & Julie Berry Cullen & Austin Nichols & Lucie Schmidt, 2002. "The Welfare Implications of Increasing Disability Insurance Benefit Generosity," Department of Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics, Williams College 2002-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. Mitra, Sophie & Sambamoorthi, Usha, 2008. "Disability and the Rural Labor Market in India: Evidence for Males in Tamil Nadu," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 934-952, May.
  7. Sophie Mitra, 2008. "The Recent Decline In The Employment Of Persons With Disabilities In South Africa, 1998-2006," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 480-492, 09.
  8. repec:clg:wpaper:2008-26 is not listed on IDEAS


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