Skip to main content

Success and failure in narrowing the disability employment gap: comparing levels and trends across Europe 2002–2014

Baumberg Geiger, Ben, van der Wel, Kjetil A., Tøge, Anne Grete (2017) Success and failure in narrowing the disability employment gap: comparing levels and trends across Europe 2002–2014. BMC Public Health, 17 (1). Article Number 928. ISSN 1471-2458. (doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4938-8) (KAR id:64967)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Click to download this file (472kB) Preview
[thumbnail of 2017 BMC Public Health (with Kjetil and Anne).pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


Background: International comparisons of the disability employment gap are an important driver of policy change. However, previous comparisons have used the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), despite known comparability issues. We present new results from the higher-quality European Social Survey (ESS), compare these to EU-SILC and the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), and also examine trends in the disability employment gap in Europe over the financial crisis for the first time. Methods: For cross-sectional comparisons of 25 countries, we use micro-data for ESS and EU-SILC for 2012 and compare these to published EU-LFS 2011 estimates. For trend analyses, we use seven biannual waves of ESS (2002–2014) with a total sample size of 182,195, and annual waves of EU-SILC (2004–2014) with a total sample size of 2,412,791. Results: (i) Cross-sectional: countries that have smaller disability employment gaps in one survey tend to have smaller gaps in the other surveys. Nevertheless, there are some countries that perform badly on the lower-quality surveys but better in the higher-quality ESS. (ii) Trends: the disability employment gap appears to have declined in ESS by 4.9%, while no trend is observed in EU-SILC – but this has come alongside a rise in disability in ESS. Conclusions: There is a need for investment in disability measures that are more comparable over time/space. Nevertheless, it is clear to policymakers there are some countries that do consistently well across surveys and measures (Switzerland), and others that do badly (Hungary).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s12889-017-4938-8
Uncontrolled keywords: Europe [Z01.542]Employment [N01.824.245]Policy [I01.655]; disability
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Benjamin Geiger
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 08:59 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 14:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Baumberg Geiger, Ben:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.