A Closer Look at the Employment Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act

33 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2002

See all articles by Julie L. Hotchkiss

Julie L. Hotchkiss

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

This paper replicates the recent findings that the employment rate among all disabled persons has declined since the ADA. A closer look at this decline, however, indicates that the source of this measured decline in employment is the result of a tremendous drop in the labor force participation rate among the disabled. While also of potential concern, further analysis indicates that this drop in the labor force participation rate was not the result of the disabled fleeing the labor market, but, rather, more likely the result of re-classification of non-disabled, non-participants, as disabled. The unconditional employment probability among the disabled (taking selection into the labor market into account) has actually not declined, and may have in fact improved slightly for certain disability classifications. The results are consistent across two different data sets and mirrored by a state-level analysis. While the relative employment position of the disabled has not deteriorated, the lack of significant impact of the ADA does raise the issue of the merit of its labor market provisions.

Keywords: disability, ADA, discrimination, employment

JEL Classification: J78, J23, C35

Suggested Citation

Hotchkiss, Julie L., A Closer Look at the Employment Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (March 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=319970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.319970

Julie L. Hotchkiss (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )

Research Department
1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States
404-498-8198 (Phone)
404-498-8058 (Fax)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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