The Potential of College Completion: How Disability Shapes Labor Market Activity Differentially by Educational Attainment and Disability Type

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

I conducted a descriptive analysis of how disability shapes labor market activity differentially by educational attainment and disability type using the American Community Survey, 2015 (N = 1,504,947) and linear probability models. Having a disability is associated with a decrease in the probability of labor force participation (proportion of those employed or seeking employment; ????=−0.34) and employment (proportion of those in the labor market who are employed; ????=−0.05). When differentiated by disability type, education moderates the relationship between disability and labor force participation for all disability types. However, education only moderates the relationship between disability and employment for those with cognitive-, physical-, and mobility-related disabilities (not sensory or self-care). Having a bachelor’s degree is associated with a 30.68% higher probability of labor force participation and a 26.84% higher probability of employment among those in the labor force than having some college, indicating higher education may be a pivotal intervention point. The relationships between disability and labor force participation and disability and employment vary by disability type, as does the role of education.

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