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Int J Health Serv. 2011;41(3):415-30.

How do macro-level contexts and policies affect the employment chances of chronically ill and disabled people? Part II: The impact of active and passive labor market policies.

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  • 1Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, England.

Abstract

The authors investigate three hypotheses on the influence of labor market deregulation, decommodification, and investment in active labor market policies on the employment of chronically ill and disabled people. The study explores the interaction between employment, chronic illness, and educational level for men and women in Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, countries with advanced social welfare systems and universal health care but with varying types of active and passive labor market policies. People with chronic illness were found to fare better in employment terms in the Nordic countries than in Canada or the United Kingdom. Their employment chances also varied by educational level and country. The employment impact of having both chronic illness and low education was not just additive but synergistic. This amplification was strongest for British men and women, Norwegian men, and Danish women. Hypotheses on the disincentive effects of tighter employment regulation or more generous welfare benefits were not supported. The hypothesis that greater investments in active labor market policies may improve the employment of chronically ill people was partially supported. Attention must be paid to the differential impact of macro-level policies on the labor market participation of chronically ill and disabled people with low education, a group facing multiple barriers to gaining employment.

PMID:
21842571
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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