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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
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    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.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10528.

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    Date of creation: May 2004
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as Jolls, Christine. "Identifying The Effects Of The Americans With Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence On Education Participation Effects," American Economic Review, 2004, v94(2,May), 447-453.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10528
    Note: LS LE
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    1. 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.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," NBER Working Papers 6670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas DeLeire, 2000. "The Wage and Employment Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Working Papers 0008, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    4. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
    5. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue III & Stewart J. Schwab, 2003. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," NBER Working Papers 9425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
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