How people with disabilities fare when public policies change
Changes in public policy and in macroeconomic conditions have dramatically affected the economic well-being of people with disabilities over the past two decades, both absolutely and relative to people without disabilities. Using data from the Current Population Survey (1968-1988), we find that the households of white or well-educated males with disabilities have fully recovered from the program cuts and recession of the early 1980s. However, much of this recovery was due to additional earnings by other household members. The households of males who are “doubly handicapped”-nonwhite or poorly educated males with disabilities-have not recovered. We conclude that the new mandates on business aimed at integrating people with disabilities into the workplace are not likely to significantly benefit the doubly handicapped.
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