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The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: Helping or hindering employment among the disabled?

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  • Bell, David
  • Heitmueller, Axel

Abstract

The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 triggered a substantial academic debate about its consequences on employment rates of disabled people. In contrast, the employment provision of the 1996 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in Britain has received little attention. Exploiting both pooled and longitudinal data, this paper provides robust evidence that, similar to the ADA in the USA, the DDA has had no impact on the employment rate of disabled people or possibly worsened it. Possible reasons for this are higher uncertainty around litigation costs, low levels of general awareness about the Act among disabled people and employers, and a lack of financial support.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, David & Heitmueller, Axel, 2009. "The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: Helping or hindering employment among the disabled?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 465-480, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:465-480
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christine Jolls & J.J. Prescott, 2004. "Disaggregating Employment Protection: The Case of Disability Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 10740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
    3. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 71-96, Summer.
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    5. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disability Employment Difference-in-difference Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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