Review of the Economic Costs of Disability


The “Review of the Economic Costs of Disability” paper discusses the economic costs to society emanating from the lower supply of labour by persons with disabilities as a result of the many barriers they face to their full and effective participation.

The three costs are considered: (i) government spending on disability-related benefits and services; (ii) productivity losses due to the lower employment of persons with disabilities themselves and their family members; and (iii) the additional expenditures imposed on these households as a result of the disability.

Understanding the extent of these costs is important to facilitate evidence-based policymaking and for a better integration of persons with disabilities and their family members into the workforce. Furthermore, by better understanding the direct costs of disability, policymakers can more easily identify the specific needs of persons with disabilities and their households.

This paper aims to broaden the understanding of the importance of placing social investments in a larger socioeconomic perspective, by taking persons with disabilities as an example, and contribute to deepening the knowledge base for government policies and programmes in support of persons with disabilities.