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Duration of disability, job mismatch and employment outcomes

Chung Choe () and Marjorie L. Baldwin

Applied Economics, 2017, vol. 49, issue 10, 1001-1015

Abstract: Workers with disabilities have functional limitations that affect their productivity in some, but not necessarily all, jobs. Workers who find a job that is a good match for their functional limitations (i.e. a job where their limitations have little or no impact on important job functions) should expect better employment outcomes (e.g. higher wages, longer job tenure) than workers with similar disabilities who are mismatched in their jobs. Merging data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation with O*Net data on job demands, we construct two continuous measures of job mismatch for workers with physical disabilities. We then extend the literature on disability and employment by exploring relationships between duration of disability, job mismatch, wages and hours worked. The results indicate that workers with long durations of disability are employed in jobs that are a better match to their physical limitations than are similar workers with shorter durations of disability. And, workers who are mismatched earn lower wages and work fewer hours than their counterparts whose jobs are a better match. Overall, the findings suggest that disability employment policies should include systematic efforts to help workers with disabilities find good job matches.

Date: 2017
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