From Charity to Investment: The nexus of disability, education and employment

Nov 12 12:00–1:30pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA

Kamal Lamichhane (Associate Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair/discussant: Michael Ashley Stein (Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School)

Numerous studies have made clear that education is an advantage in the labor market, and, in some cases, possessing it is what allows not only high income but greater job stability. However, when considering the case of persons with disabilities, such common knowledge does not hold true in the minds of many. The prevailing belief is, still, that even if persons with disabilities are educated, they are less likely to make use of the education, or that they will not be useful in the workforce. To empirically challenge this assumption, utilizing data sets from Nepal and other low- and middle-income countries on people with different impairment groups, this presentation will discuss some empirical evidence of returns to the investment in education for them and shed light on why they have lower access to education and higher dropout rates despite enjoying significantly higher returns. Results suggest that unless affirmative action is taken on their behalf and increased greater investment in their human capital development, it may be difficult for persons with disabilities to enter directly into the competitive labor market.