|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Hurting by Helping? The Law of Unintended Consequences
The economists Daron Acemoglu and Joshua Angrist once asked a similar question: How did the A.D.A. affect employment among the disabled?Clearly not what was intended. The reason -- "employers, concerned that they wouldn’t be able to discipline or fire disabled workers who happened to be incompetent, apparently avoided hiring them in the first place. " For more you can check out their paper, Consequences of Employment Protection? the case of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Obviously, you can argue that such actions were also illegal, but it doesn't change the impact.
Rarely are things as simple as they seem.
A hat tip to Will Schendel at the Alaska Employment Law Blog.
Update (12.27.08): For a new article suggesting that the above problem may be a result of the statistics themselves see, The Employment Rate of People With Disabilities at BeSpacific.