United States Disability Policy in a Time of Economic Crisis: A Comparison with Sweden and the Federal Republic of Germany

Similar economic pressures on the United States, Sweden, and West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s elicited different policies for disabled workers, including those temporarily or partially disabled. Swedish program aimed first at providing rehabilitation or subsidized jobs, though older workers later often received income maintenance stipends; West Germans relied on income supports, early paid retirements, and job quotas to abet disabled citizens. Contrariwise, American policies limited aid to the partially disabled to veterans’ and welfare benefits, and weakly encouraged return to the labor force. It remains unclear whether the economy’s upsurge from 1984 to 1989 proportionately boosted the well-being of Americans with disabilities.

Author(s): Richard V. Burkhauser; Petri Hirvonen

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Volume 67, Issue S2 (pages 166–194)
Published in 1989