ENSURING EQUIVALENCE IN THE LABORATORIES OF DEMOCRACY: DOES CONTROLLING FOR DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES IMPACT STATE DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT PERFORMANCE?
Gilbert, Lauren Stacey
This paper examines the relationship between the disability employment gap among the states and the District of Columbia and the states’ working-age disabled populations’ demographic characteristics using panel data from the 2003-2014 American Community Survey (ACS). Through a mixed model, the study uncovers the marginal effects of different demographic characteristics of a state’s disabled population on a state’s employment gap between people with and without disabilities. The demographic traits examined include: the share of the general population that has a disability, the share of the disabled population that has different types of disabilities, the share of the disabled population that is ages 54-64, the share of a state’s disabled population that is ages 16-21, and the share of a state’s disabled population that has disabilities in multiple categories. Periods before and after the start of the Great Recession are then examined to see if the marginal effects of different traits have changed. The results indicate that the variable with the largest marginal effect is the share of a state’s population that has a disability. Other variables with significant marginal effects include the share of a state’s disabled population that is ages 54-64 and the share of a state’s disabled population with an independent living disability, both of which were associated with increases in state employment gaps, as well as the share of a state’s disabled population that has a sensory disability, which was associated with a modest decrease in the employment gap.
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