Disability, Structural Inequality, and Work: The Influence of Occupational Segregation on Earnings for People with Different Disabilities
Maroto, Michelle and David Pettinicchio. 2014. "Disability, structural inequality, and work: The influence of occupational segregation on earnings for people with different disabilities," Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 38:76-92.
17 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014 Last revised: 19 Jun 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2014
Occupational segregation is a fundamental cause of structural inequality within the labor market, but it remains under-researched in the case of disability status. Using 2011 American Community Survey data for working-age adults, we examine the representation of persons with different types of disabilities across occupations and industries. We find that employed workers with disabilities experience occupational segregation that limits their earnings potential. People with disabilities tend to work in lower-skilled jobs with limited educational and experience requirements. However, these disparities also vary by the nature of a person’s disability, which perpetuates inequality by disability status. Although supply-side, human capital variables play a role in shaping earnings, we find that these broader, structural factors and occupational characteristics strongly influence the economic well-being of people with disabilities.
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