Slide 1: Rising Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: The Case of Working-Age People with Disabilities

Richard V. Burkhauser

Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Cornell University

Andrew J. Houtenville

Industrial and Labor Relations

Cornell University

Ludmila Rovba

Analysis Group, Inc.

Montreal, Canada

 

Partial funding for the work reported in this paper came from the United States Department of Education, National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, cooperative agreement No. 1331390038. This paper does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

 

Slide 2:

 “When you can not measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory”—Lord Kelvin.  (Chiseled on the archway of the University of Chicago Social Science Building)

 

Slide 3: Six questions this talk will answer with respect to working-age people with disabilities:

·        What was their poverty rate in 2004?

·        How sensitive is this measure across data sets and definitions of the population?

·        What is their relative risk of poverty?

·        How has their relative risk of poverty changed over the last two major business cycles?

·        What explains these changes in their poverty rate (compositional changes or underlying changes)?

·        How has the compositionally adjusted change in their relative risk of poverty changed?

 

 

Slide 4:

Figure 1: Median Family Income and Poverty Rate of Families and Persons, 1979-2005

Line graph comparing Median Family Income to the Official Poverty Rate; the two time-trends are virtually mirror images. The 1983, 1993 and 2004 recessions are marked and demonstrate that at each point there is the trough of Median Family Income and the peak of Official Poverty Rate.

 

 

Slide 5:

Table 1. Relative Poverty Risk for Selected Economically Vulnerable Working-Aged Populations

 

Year

Total Population (Aged    25-61)

Female/Male Ratio

Non-White/ White Ratio

With/Without Work Limitation Ratio

1983

11.49

1.43

2.84

2.83

1993

11.23

1.45

2.97

3.33

2004

10.06

1.33

2.24

3.40

2005

9.88

1.40

2.43

3.67

 

 

Slide 6:

Table 2: Estimated Disability Prevalence Rates for Working-Age People with Disabilities (Men and Women, Aged 25 to 61), By Data Source

 

 

Overall

Participation Restriction - Employment

Participation Restriction - IADL

Activity Limitation - Self-care

Impairment - Mental

Impairment - Physical

Impairment - Sensory

ACS, 2003

11.9

6.9

2.9

2

4

7.5

2.7

CPS, March 2003

7.8

7.8

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

CPS, March 2004

8.4

8.4

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Matched CPS 2003 and 2004

5.6

5.6

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

 


Slide 7:

Table 2: Estimated Disability Poverty Rates for Working-Age People with Disabilities (Men and Women, Aged 25 to 61), By Data Source

 

Overall

Participation Restriction - Employment

Participation Restriction - IADL

Activity Limitation - Self-care

Impairment - Mental

Impairment - Physical

Impairment - Sensory

ACS, 2003

23.7

29.6

29.7

28.9

30.8

25.0

20.8

CPS, March 2003

29.4

29.4

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

CPS, March 2004

28.8

28.8

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Matched CPS 2003 and 2004

29.0

29.0

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA



Slide 8:

Table 3: Relative Poverty Risk of Those With Disabilities by Sex, Education, Race, and Age

 

1983 Ratio

1993 Ratio

2004 Ratio

All

2.83

3.33

3.4

Men

2.96

3.86

3.78

Women

2.79

3.03

3.14

Education: < High School

1.67

1.63

1.8

Education: High School

2.43

2.67

2.89

Education: > High School

3.27

4.32

3.99

White

3.05

4.3

4.32

Nonwhite

2.2

2.2

2.55

Age: 25-44

2.79

3.07

3.23

Age: 45-61

3.56

4.68

4.25

 

 

Slide 9:

Table 4: Decomposition of the Percentage Point Change in Poverty Rate of Those Reporting Work Limitation, by Changes in Absolute Population Shares

Percentage Point Contribution to Change in the Overall Poverty Rate:

 

1983-1993 - Population Share

1983-1993 - Poverty Rate

1983-1993 - Total

1993-2004 - Population Share

1993-2004 - Poverty Rate

1993-2004 - Total

Total Population

0.045

2.622

2.67

-1.864

-0.922

-2.79

 

 

Slide 10:

Table 5: Actual and Compositionally Adjusted Poverty Rates for Working-Age People With and Without Disabilities

 

1983 - Actual Poverty

1993 - Actual Poverty

1993 - Poverty Adjusted for Composition (1983 base)

2004 - Actual Poverty

2004 - Poverty Adjusted for Composition (1993 base)

2004 - Poverty Adjusted for Composition (1983 base)

With Disabilities

28.61

31.28

31.23

28.49

30.36

30.07

Without Disabilities

10.1

9.4

10.01

8.37

8.48

9.12

Ratio (relative poverty)

2.83

3.33

3.12

3.4

3.58

3.3

 

 

Slide 11:

Figure 2. Trends in the Ratio of Actual and Compositionally Adjusted Relative Poverty Rates of People With Work Limitations, 1980-2005

Line graph showing time-trends of relative poverty risks, from 1980 to 2004, defined in three different ways: Actual Relative Poverty Risk, Relative Poverty Risk with base population 1983, and Relative Poverty Risk with base 1993. The lines show virtually the same trend, but the 1983 base population line drifts below the Actual Relative Poverty Risk  time while the 1993 base population drifts further above the Actual Relative Poverty Risk. The trends show that Relative Poverty Risk increased over the 80s until a peak in about 1989, then fell and remained relatively low until 1996 when it rose to a peak in 2000 and then sharply falls until the trend’s end in 2004.

 

 

Slide 12:

Conclusions

·        The compositionally adjusted poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities has grown over time.

·        Their compositionally adjusted relative risk of poverty has grown even more over time.

·        OMB should choose a method of capturing poverty rate levels and trends of working-age people by disability status.

·        Those interested in tracking their economic well-being should find a way to link longer-term CPS-based trends to those found with better data as it becomes available.