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Within group “structural” tests of labor-market discrimination A study of persons with serious disabilities

The Economics of Disability

ISBN: 978-0-76230-529-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-031-9

Publication date: 10 May 2000


Labor-market discrimination measures are usually derived from between-group comparisons of market outcomes for favored versus disfavored groups, controlling for productivity-related individual characteristics. When the disfavored group is heterogeneous, one can relate variations in discrimination intensity to market outcomes within the disfavored group. We use this approach to test for employment and wage discrimination against persons with various types of disabilities. Measures of ‘social distance” and employer judgments of “employability” are controls for the intensity of discrimination. In a national sample of adults with serious disabilities, employment discrimination effects are in the “wrong” direction, however, and wage effects are unstable. Thus, variability in labor market outcomes among different types of disabilities is not explained well by variations in discrimination intensity correlated with social distance and employer attitudes. We conjecture that differences in available support services by type of disability may help to explain this variability.


Salkever, D.S. and Elena Domino, M. (2000), "Within group “structural” tests of labor-market discrimination A study of persons with serious disabilities", Salkever, D.S. and Sorkin, A. (Ed.) The Economics of Disability (Research in Human Capital and Development, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 33-50.



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