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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Labour Economics, Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 82–91
Even though the Disability System in Spain is designed to allow partially disabled individuals to combine the receipt of the benefits with a job, their employment rates have remained very low since 1996. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the results of an employment promotion policy introduced in Spain in 2004 which increased the deductions to the Social Security contributions paid by employers that hired disabled women. We apply difference-in-difference models and estimate a recursive bivariate probit model to evaluate the existence of shifts in employment trends in the women relative to the men sample conditioning on the existence of preexisting trends. We find that the impact of the policy is significant and we estimate an average elasticity of employment of 0.14 for partially and of 0.08 for totally disabled women relative to the deductions in the employer Social Security contributions. Finally, when we extrapolate the results beyond our sample, we estimate that 7100 disabled women were able to find a job in Spain due to the policy with an associated cost of 10,997.900 euro for the government.
Many OECD countries have tightened the conditions to access the unemployment and social assistance schemes while, at the same time, early retirement schemes have been limited (or even abolished) because of their well-documented disincentives to work. These events have resulted in increasing numbers of pre-retirement individuals entering the disability schemes which, together with the aging process of the population and the economic crisis, raises concerns about the mid-term effects of disability expenses on the government's budget (OECD, 2007a, OECD, 2007b and Benitez-Silva et al., 2010). On the other hand, several studies have stressed the need to promote the labor market integration of disabled individuals as a way of facilitating their broader integration in the society (OECD, 2003). For these reasons, the possibility of increasing the number of disabled people that work is regarded as a good way to both decrease the pressures on the financial stability of the social security system and to reach the social integration of disabled individuals. A number of policy initiatives have been introduced in different countries in order to promote the integration of disabled workers into the labor market (employment quotas, subsidies, antidiscrimination legislation, deductions to the social security contributions) but the literature analyzing the effects of these policies seems to suggest that the employment effects are relatively small (if they exist). For example, Wagner et al. (2001) analyze the impact of employment quotas on job dynamics in 400 small firms in Germany and they find no effect of the quota threshold whereas Lalive et al. (2009) estimate an elasticity of substitution between disabled and non-disabled workers of 2.4 for employment quotas in Austria. Similarly, a number of studies have focused on the employment effects of anti-discrimination legislation (ADA; American with Disabilities Act in the USA and the Disability Discrimination Act in the UK) and have found opposing results. On the one hand, DeLeire, 2000, Acemoglu and Angrist, 2001 and Beegle and Stock, 2003 conclude that ADA has not increased employment for disabled individuals in the USA and Bell and Heitmueller (2005) find similar results for the UK. On the other hand, Jolls and Prescott, 2004 and Jolls, 2004 find that the main effect of ADA was to increase the returns on education which, in turn, raised education participation of disabled individuals as well as their employment prospects. Therefore, this paper tries to shed some light to this debate by studying one of these policies that was introduced in Spain in 2004 to promote employment among disabled women. In particular, we apply difference-in-difference methods to evaluate the employment effects of an increase in the deductions of employer's social security contributions to hire disabled women. In order to do that, we first explore the characteristics and evolution of the labor market participation of disabled individuals in Spain from 1996 until 2007. We realize that employment trends between men and women in our sample are not homogeneous before the implementation of the policy in 2004 so that the basic assumption of traditional difference-and-difference models would not be fulfilled. Therefore, we apply a new econometric model introduced by Autor and Duggan (2008) to analyze the effectiveness of the policy measure conditioning on any preexisting trends. The present work contributes to the literature in two dimensions. First, by analyzing the employment effects of the policy in 2004, we get a measure of the elasticity of employment for partially and totally disabled women relative to the deductions in the employer social security contributions, which has never been calculated before. Second, it fills in the information gap existing in Spain with regards to the labor market behavior of disabled individuals and its evolution over time. There are only three cross-sectional surveys focusing on disabled individuals in Spain and only one of them pays special attention to the relation between disability and work. Therefore, there is a lack of information on employment rates of disabled individuals and their movements over time. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first ones to use a longitudinal administrative database on disability pensions (Muestra Continua de Vidas Laborales) to shed some light on the composition and labor market situation of permanent disability pensioners and to perform an evaluation of an employment promotion policy for disabled individuals in Spain.1 Our results show an average elasticity of employment of 0.08 for totally disabled women with respect to the deductions to the Social Security contributions paid by the employer and an elasticity of employment of 0.14 for partially disabled women. However, we realize that there are important non-linear effects in the implementation of this type of policies so that we do not claim the generalization of our results to increases in the deductions of different size. If we extrapolate the results of our model to the Spanish population, we estimate an increase in employment by 1775 totally and by 5325 partially disabled women in Spain due to the policy, with an associated cost of 10,997.900 euro for the government. The rest of the paper is structured as follows. The next section describes the disability system in Spain and the reform of 2004, Section 3 explains the database and Section 4 the econometric approach. Section 5 outlines the results of the estimation while some robustness checks are performed in Section 6 and the conclusions are presented in Section 7.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The analysis above has filled in an important information gap as it has presented the first evaluation of an employment promotion policy for disabled individuals in Spain. We make use of the availability of a 12 year bracket in our dataset in order to investigate the employment effects of the introduction of a policy reform in 2004 that increased the deductions to the Social Security contributions for employers who hired a disabled woman. In order to do so, we have first drawn a picture of the labor market situation of disability pensioners in Spain and its evolution from 1996 to 2007. Our findings suggest that this increase in the deductions of the Social Security contributions proved to increase the probability of finding a job for disabled women in Spain and we estimate an average elasticity of employment of 0.08 for totally disabled women and of 0.14 for partially disabled women. Our results also show that the elasticity of employment is higher for the group of women below age 45 for both partially and totally disabled women. We interpret this as evidence of the existence of non-linear effects of the policy as the increase in the deductions was larger for women below age 45 (20%) than for women above age 45 (10%). Finally, in order to get an estimate of the number of disabled women that were able to find a job in Spain due to the policy, we extrapolate the results beyond our sample and we find that 7100 disabled women were able to find a job in Spain due to the policy with an associated cost of 10,997.900 euro for the government. We conclude that increasing the deductions to the Social Security contributions paid by the employer provides an incentive for employers to hire disabled women as we find that it increases their probability of finding a job. However, we also believe that the introduction of these measures should be complemented by other labor market initiatives embedded in a more comprehensive and far-reaching packet of reforms of the disability system. This is particularly important in countries like Spain, which exhibit very low employment rates of disabled workers. At the same time, utilization of all the available policy measures targeted to increase employment for disabled workers seems to be rather small and a biggest effort should be made from the administration to advertise and promote their use. In that sense, results from the EDAD survey show that there is room to improve employment prospects of disabled workers in Spain as 23.85% of the disabled are not looking for a job because they think that it would be difficult for them to find a job as a disabled worker. Similarly, 43.65% of the disabled who are looking for a job think that they cannot find a job because of their disability (see Table 12). Special employment centers that would support and guide the job search process of disabled workers could also help in improving the labor market integration of disabled individuals as only 2.62% of them report having used a public employment service to find their current job. As more updated databases become available, it will also be interesting to assess the effects of more recent reforms as well as to evaluate the extent to which employment rates of disabled individuals have been affected by the economic crisis of 2008–2010.