Aggregate Economic Losses from Disability in the United States: A Preliminary Assay

Interest in particular demographic subgroups with disabilities-such as working-age adults, the elderly, and young children-obscures seeing the populations as integral elements of a broad policy issue. Calculations based on national surveys indicate that functional disability exacted an estimated total of $177 billion in aggregate economic losses in the United States in 1980. Refinements in collecting information on disability and its consequences are needed to gauge the causes and correlates of chronic activity limitations. Policy makers will otherwise find it difficult to assess the scope that disabilities pose to people, or to monitor the effect of changes in disability policy.

Author(s): Thomas N. Chirikos

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Volume 67, Issue S2 (pages 59–91)
Published in 1989