Labour market outcomes for people with a spinal cord injury
The consequences of spinal cord injury are profound and extend well beyond the immediate loss of mobility and sensation. Employment is a well-recognised rehabilitation goal. In this study, we examine the impact of a publicly funded "package" of services that is designed to enable people with a spinal cord injury to return to the workplace. Specifically, this package of services provided client directed assistance for assisting the recipient with the activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, food preparation, etc.). We combine primary data collection methods well developed in other scientific disciplines, but less frequently utilised within economics, with traditional econometric techniques, to present a novel approach to this methodological issue. The Spinal Injuries Survey Instrument was developed and administered using a matched sampling approach. Collected data included, labour market outcomes, exposure to the packages, as well as clinical and demographic covariates commonly identified by the spinal cord injury literature. Concern for endogeneity was addressed by collecting data on several variables that might serve as suitable instruments for the econometric work and measures of otherwise-unobserved sources of heterogeneity. For example, a psychological measure of "attributional style was adapted from the field of psychology in order to control for a potentially confounding source of latent individual heterogeneity, viz. "motivation". While our results find zero marginal effect of support packages on labour market outcomes, we find that training undertaken post-injury and age are both positively correlated with labour market participation.
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