Extra Costs of Living with a Disability: A Review and Agenda for Research

Disability and Health Journal, Forthcoming, DOI/10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.04.007

10 Pages Posted: 15 May 2017 Last revised: 7 Nov 2017

See all articles by Sophie Mitra

Sophie Mitra

Fordham University

Michael Palmer

University of Melbourne

Hoolda Kim

Fordham University

Daniel Mont

World Bank

Nora Groce

University College London

Date Written: April 1, 2017


Background: There has been a growing interest in disability and poverty on the international research and policy stages. Poverty assessments for persons with disabilities may be affected by the experience of extra costs associated with a disability.

Objective: This article provides a systematized review of the global literature on the direct costs associated with living with a disability at the individual or household level.

Methods: We searched three databases for peer-reviewed journal articles that estimated extra costs associated with disability: Econlit, SocIndex and PubMed.

Results: We found 20 such studies conducted in 10 countries. These studies were predominantly from high-income countries. Although studies were heterogeneous (e.g., in terms of disability measures and cost methodologies), estimated costs were sizeable and some patterns were consistent across studies. Costs varied according to the severity of disability, life cycle and household composition. Highest costs were observed among persons with severe disabilities, and among persons with disabilities living alone or in small sized households.

Conclusions: More quantitative evidence is needed using rigorous methods, for instance evidence based on longitudinal data and as part of policy evaluations. More internationally comparable data on disability is required for the quantitative evidence to develop, especially in low- and middle-income countries where studies are scarce. Qualitative and participatory research is also needed, especially to investigate unmet needs, and the consequences of extra costs.

Keywords: Disability Costs Needs Poverty

Suggested Citation

Mitra, Sophie and Palmer, Michael and Kim, Hoolda and Mont, Daniel and Groce, Nora, Extra Costs of Living with a Disability: A Review and Agenda for Research (April 1, 2017). Disability and Health Journal, Forthcoming, DOI/10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.04.007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2967775

Sophie Mitra (Contact Author)

Fordham University ( email )

441 East Fordham road
Bronx, NY 10458
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/mitra

Michael Palmer

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053

Hoolda Kim

Fordham University ( email )

Bronx, NY 10458
United States

Daniel Mont

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Nora Groce

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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