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Disability and Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Turkish Males

Burcu Düzgün Öncel and Deniz Karaoğlan

This paper attempts to examine the influence of disability status on labor force participation of males aged between 25 and 64. Our attention is only on males in order to avoid complications arising from gender differences in disability and labor force participation. The data is from Turkish Health Survey (THS) for the year 2012 prepared by Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT). We believe that revealing the differences in labor outcomes that can be attributed to disability status of individuals would be important to understand labor market dynamics of a developing and young populated country; Turkey. We define disability as an impairment of long term health conditions that lasts more than six months which restricts individual in daily activities and categorize individuals as non-disabled, disabled with no limitations, disabled with some limitations and disabled with severe limitations by controlling work related disabilities. In the first part of the study we provide descriptive analysis on the relationship between disability status and labor market states. We observe that higher share of disabled individuals with severe limitations are out of labor force in every age and low educated individuals experience more disabilities. In the second part, we first estimate probit equations in order to see the relationship between disability and labor force participation, then we implement propensity score matching (PSM) techniques in order to overcome selection bias. PSM results indicate that severe disability prevents males from entering into the labor force, whereas being non-disabled increases the probability of being in the labor force.

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