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Estimating the Income Loss of Disabled Individuals: The Case of Spain

  • Cervini-Plá, María


    (Universitat de Girona)

  • Silva, José I.


    (University of Kent)

  • Vall-Castello, Judit


    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

In this paper, we present both a theoretical and an empirical model in order to identify the effects of disability on wages. In the theoretical model we assume that the wage gap of a disabled worker depends on a permanent and a transitory productivity gap and the model predicts that the wage gap will be lower after gaining some work experience in the new job. We test this theoretical hypothesis using an exogenous health shock and matching methods associated with treatment effect techniques for policy evaluation. In all our specifications, we find that the reduction of the wage for the disabled is between 293 and 342 euros per month expressed in constant terms at 2010 prices (21-24% of the average wage of disabled workers) but this reduction is more than offset when we take into account both the disability benefits and the wage. As predicted in the theoretical model, we observe that the pay gap between the disabled and the non-disabled individuals falls over time once the transitory drop in productivity is disappearing. However, we observe a constant wage gap that remains over time and that corresponds to the permanent fall in productivity predicted by the theoretical model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6752.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6752
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  1. Kidd, Michael P. & Sloane, Peter J. & Ferko, Ivan, 2000. "Disability and the labour market: an analysis of British males," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 961-981, November.
  2. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  4. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2002. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP10/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  6. Kerwin Kofi Charles, 2003. "The Longitudinal Structure of Earnings Losses among Work-Limited Disabled Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  7. Pilar García-Gómez & Hans van Kippersluis & Owen O’Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2013. "Long-Term and Spillover Effects of Health Shocks on Employment and Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 873-909.
  8. Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Martin & Vikström, Johan, 2011. "Socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effect of health shocks on earnings: evidence from population-wide data on Swedish workers," Working Paper Series 2011:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. Martin Halla & Martina Zweimüller, 2011. "The Effect of Health on Income: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Commuting Accidents," NRN working papers 2011-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, revised Feb 2012.
  10. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  11. Wallace K. C. Mok & Bruce D. Meyer & Kerwin Kofi Charles & Alexandra C. Achen, 2008. "A Note on "The Longitudinal Structure of Earnings Losses among Work-Limited Disabled Workers"," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 721-728.
  12. Michael Lechner & Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, 2011. "The effect of disability on labour market outcomes in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 389-412.
  13. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  14. Miguel Á. MALO & Ricardo PAGÁN, 2012. "Wage differentials and disability across Europe: Discrimination and/or lower productivity?," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 151(1-2), pages 43-60, 06.
  15. Wu, Stephen, 2001. "Adapting to heart conditions: a test of the hedonic treadmill," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 495-507, July.
  16. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. (*), Nigel Rice & Paul Contoyannis, 2001. "The impact of health on wages: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 599-622.
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