The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: helping or hindering employment among the disabled?

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2009


The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 triggered a
substantial academic debate about its consequences on employment rates of disabled
people. In contrast, the employment provision of the 1996 Disability Discrimination
Act (DDA) in Britain has received little attention. Exploiting both pooled and
longitudinal data, this paper provides robust evidence that, similar to the ADA in the
US, the DDA has had no impact on the employment rate of disabled people or
possibly worsened it. Possible reasons for this are higher uncertainty around litigation
costs, low levels of general awareness about the Act among disabled people and
employers, and a lack of financial support.

Published in

Journal of Health Economics


Volume: 28 (2):465-480




Originally Article in press, accepted manuscript' Nov.2008

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