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ISER Working Paper Series 2014-17

Diverse disability


Publication date

28 Apr 2014


Policy has long been based on the assumption that disabled people are either capable, or
incapable, of work. This paper extends earlier analyses which show that the probability of
employment is a variable, not an absolute. The disability employment penalty varies by
number, type, severity and duration of impairments. Many impaired people’s job prospects
are scarcely affected, and they are probably not "disabled" at all. Others have very low
chances of employment, and fit the concept of "incapacity". In between is a group who face
serious barriers, without work being ruled out altogether. This "50:50" group may be the
primary focus of policy interest.


Disability, Labour Market, and Public Policy

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