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Identifying the Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence on Educational Participation Effects


  • Christine Jolls


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment and other settings. Several empirical studies have suggested that employment levels of individuals with disabilities declined rather than increased after the ADA's passage. This paper provides a first look at whether lower disabled employment levels after the ADA might have resulted from increased participation in educational opportunities by individuals with disabilities as a rational response to the ADA's employment protections. The main empirical finding is that individuals with disabilities who were not employed in the years following legal innovation in the form of the ADA were more likely than their pre-ADA counterparts to give educational participation as their reason for not being employed. This preliminary evidence suggests the value of further study, with better education data, of the relationship between the ADA's enactment and disabled participation in educational opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Jolls, 2004. "Identifying the Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence on Educational Participation Effects," NBER Working Papers 10528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10528
    Note: LS LE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2000. "Accounting for Recent Declines in Employment Rates among the Working-Aged Disabled," NBER Working Papers 7975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2006. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 211-231, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    6. Marjorie Baldwin & William G. Johnson, 1994. "Labor Market Discrimination against Men with Disabilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-19.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vall Castello, Judit, 2012. "Promoting employment of disabled women in Spain; Evaluating a policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 82-91.
    2. Thomas Barnay & Emmanuel Duguet & Christine Le Clainche & Yann Videau, 2016. "An evaluation of the 1987 French Disabled Workers Act: Better paying than hiring," Working Papers hal-01292132, HAL.
    3. Christine Jolls, 2007. "Behavioral Law and Economics," NBER Working Papers 12879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe, 2010. "The effects of increasing financial incentives for firms to promote employment of disabled workers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 173-176, May.
    5. Stefanescu, Razvan & Dumitriu, Ramona & Nistor, Costel, 2012. "Policies to encourage the employment of people with disabilities: case of Romania," MPRA Paper 41637, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Mar 2012.
    6. Zhao, Yu Fang & Xia, Xin Ping & Tang, Xiang Xi & Cao, Wei & Liu, Xiao Yuan & Fan, Ying Han, 2015. "Private placements, cash dividends and interests transfer: Empirical evidence from Chinese listed firms," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 107-118.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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