Do financial incentives affect firms’ demand for disabled workers?

TitleDo financial incentives affect firms’ demand for disabled workers?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLalive, R, Wüllrich, J-P, Zweimüller, J
JournalJournal of the European Economic Association
Date Published02/2013

A number of OECD countries aim to encourage work integration of disabled persons using quota policies. For instance, Austrian firms must provide at least one job to a disabled worker per 25 nondisabled workers and are subject to a tax if they do not. This “threshold design” provides causal estimates of the noncompliance tax on disabled employment if firms do not manipulate nondisabled employment; a lower and upper bound on the causal effect can be constructed if they do. Results indicate that firms with 25 nondisabled workers employ about 0.04 (or 12%) more disabled workers than without the tax; firms do manipulate employment of nondisabled workers but the lower bound on the employment effect of the quota remains positive; employment effects are stronger in low-wage firms than in high-wage firms; and firms subject to the quota of two disabled workers or more hire 0.08 more disabled workers per additional quota job. Moreover, increasing the noncompliance tax increases excess disabled employment, whereas paying a bonus to overcomplying firms slightly dampens the employment effects of the tax.

Refereed DesignationRefereed