Submissions List TBI Interagency Conference
TitleAuthor(s)

Employment, Compensation, and Disability Research



  • Nazarov, Zafar
  • Erickson, William
  • Hallock, Kevin
  • Jin, Xin

Topic:

Employment

Abstract:

The researchers of Cornell University will share findings from two research efforts of the Cornell’s RRTC on Employer Practices:  an overview of compensation & disability variables in 11 national survey and administrative databases; three research applications which are conducted using compensation and disability variables from national survey and administrative databases.

Description:

The ultimate goal of Cornell’s RRTC on Employer Practices is to bring to light effective employer interventions in enhancing the hiring, retention, and advancement of employees with disabilities. In this panel, the researchers of Cornell University will share findings from two research efforts. First, they will present an overview of compensation and disability variables in an array of national survey and administrative databases and a new related research tool. Second, they will share the results of analysis using compensation and disability variables to understand the level of the compensation differential between PWDs and non-disabled peers, the sources of wage differentials between African-American and Caucasian Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) consumers and the problem of job matching for PWDs.

It is useful to examine workplace factors influencing employment outcomes and the intersection between these factors and successful hiring and retention outcomes.  Large national survey and administrative databases which provide information on employers can inform this inquiry. In the first presentation, Bill Erickson will provide an overview of compensation and disability variables available in the recent panels of the national survey and administrative databases. The overview is based on the online tool developed by Cornell University’s researchers which provides a way for policymakers and practitioners to understand employer practice-related variables across eleven national administrative and survey datasets that potentially impact employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

One of the hallmarks of successful labor market outcomes for individuals with disabilities includes earnings from work. Too often, however, researchers have limited their focus on compensation earned from work to wages and salaries. To fill this gap in the literature Kevin Hallock and Xin Jin conducted a comprehensive analysis of compensation outcomes for employees with disabilities and non-disabled peers. Using several national surveys, they explored the level of the compensation differential between these two groups of individuals.

To our knowledge, in the literature, it has not been explored whether a racial wage differential exists among individuals with disabilities and the factors associated with the wage differential. A major issue that hinders research in this area is that only wages of individuals who were successfully rehabilitated are observable in data. VR consumers whose cases are “closed” without an employment outcome are not followed-up, and data regarding their earnings is not documented. Using the nationally representative sample of VR consumers, Zafar Nazarov estimated the wage gap between Caucasian and African-American VR consumers and the main factors explaining the wage gap between these two groups, addressing the aforementioned censoring issue using an innovative statistical technique.

Finally, existing literature suggests that job match is complicated, especially for employees with disabilities. Kevin Hallock, in his project combined demographic data on individuals with disabilities and their nondisabled peers with unique “job characteristics” data (O*NET) to investigate whether persons with disabilities are in comparatively different kinds of jobs. Furthermore, in his research he examined whether people with disabilities are more likely to be engaged in relatively growing or declining occupations, or occupations more or less susceptible to the economic waves of recession and recovery.