Evaluating social investment in disability policy
Impact of measures for activation, support, and facilitation on employment of disabled persons in 22 european countries
Disability policy in European countries is displaying a shift towards social investment: increasing human capital and access to the labour market. The reasoning that underlies this transition is that disabled persons would benefit from mainstream employment, but are impeded in traditional policy by deficiencies in labour supply and demand. However, the shift towards more activating policies in many countries is accompanied by a decline in social protection. It is unclear whether social investment may effectively promote the employment chances of disabled persons within this context. The present research examines this question through a quantitative, cross-sectional, multilevel analysis on microdata from 22 EU countries. Our findings suggest greater activation to predict lower employment chances, while reducing passive support shows mixed effects. Conversely, measures for facilitation in daily life predict greater employment chances, as do measures for sheltered work. These findings raise questions over the value of social investment for disabled persons—and underline the need to overcome broader barriers in the labour market and in society.