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Limitations of Disadvantage: Examining the Association between Functional Limitations, ADL/IADL Disability, and Labor Market Inequality

Mon, August 12, 10:30am to 12:10pm, New York Hilton, Floor: Second Floor, Sutton North


Abstract Objective. Informed by Verbrugge and Jetteā€™s (1994) disablement process, this study examines how functional limitations, ADL/IADL disability, and the interaction between these two categories shapes employment and earnings outcomes. It also examines whether the labor market disadvantages experienced by those with functional limitations and ADL/IADL disability can be attenuated by individual, policy, and job characteristics. Methods. Data come from the 2016 1-year public use file of the American Community Survey (ACS) (n = 1,262,359). I estimated a series of logistic and ordinary least squares models predicting employment status and earned income from functional limitations, disability status, and a set of individual, policy, and job characteristics. Results. Findings suggest a hierarchy of labor market disadvantage. Specifically, individuals who report both functional limitations and ADL/IADL disabilities face the greatest labor market disadvantage, in terms of both employment rates and income, followed by those who only report ADL/IADL disabilities, and then those with only functional limitations. Discussion. This hierarchy suggests that disability, in a broad sense, is not a single experience. Rather those with physical or mental limitations will encounter the labor market differently based upon several factors, including how their limitations do (or do not) impact their ability to navigate social and environmental barriers that are constructed by a society designed for those without disabilities.


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