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Do Financial Incentives for Firms Promote Employment of Disabled Workers? A Regression Discontinuity Approach

  • Rafael Lalive
  • Jean-Philippe Wuellrich
  • Josef Zweimüller

We study the impact of employment quota on firms' demand for disabled workers. The Austrian Disabled Persons Employment Act (DPEA) requires firms to provide at least one job to a disabled worker per 25 non-disabled workers, a rule which is strictly enforced by non-compliance taxation. We find that, as a result of the discontinuous nature of the noncompliance tax, firms exactly at the quota threshold employ 0.05 (20 % in relative terms) more disabled workers than firms just below the threshold { an effect that is unlikely driven by purposeful selection below the threshold. The flat rate nature of the non-compliance tax generates strong employment effects for low-wage firms and weak effects for high-wage firms. We also find that growing firms passing the quota threshold react with a substantial time-lag but the magnitude of the long-run effect is similar to the one found in cross-section contrasts.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2009-11.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2009_11
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
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  1. Thomas DeLeire, 2000. "The Wage and Employment Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 693-715.
  2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 98, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Working papers 98-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Christine Jolls & J.J. Prescott, 2004. "Disaggregating Employment Protection: The Case of Disability Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 10740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  8. Verick, Sher, 2004. "Do Financial Incentives Promote the Employment of the Disabled?," IZA Discussion Papers 1256, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Michael Lechner & Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, 2003. "The Effect of Disability on Labour Market Outcomes in Germany: Evidence from Matching," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2003 2003-20, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  10. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization On Private Sector Employers: 1984-2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441, November.
  11. Humer, Brigitte & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2007. "Integrating Severely Disabled Individuals into the Labour Market: The Austrian Case," IZA Discussion Papers 2649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Rafael Lalive, 2006. "How do Extended Benefits Affect Unemployment Duration? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1765, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  14. Kathleen Beegle & Wendy A. Stock, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of Disability Discrimination Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
  15. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
  16. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  17. Welch, Finis, 1976. "Employment Quotas for Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S105-39, August.
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