Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association


Disability, Obesity, and Employment: Exploring Nationally-Representative Data

Jennifer Tennant and Inas Rashad Kelly

vol. 5, October 2012, p. 232-241


A recent report by the Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stressed the need for a national disability survey. We examine differences in the wording of disability questions in two nationally-representative data sets, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We link this information to information on obesity and employment for disabled persons in order to predict employment for these individuals using difference-in-differences models. Disabled individuals are significantly less likely to work, a trend that may change in light of the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


suggested citation:

Jennifer Tennant and Inas Rashad Kelly. "Disability, Obesity, and Employment: Exploring Nationally-Representative Data." Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association. vol. 5, October 2012, p. 232-241

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