ADA to Ph.D.? The Americans with disabilities act and post-secondary educational attainment

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 requires employers and universities to provide accommodations to employees and students with disabilities. Previous research on the ADA has focused primarily on labor market outcomes. Yet, little is known about how the ADA affected the educational attainment of people with disabilities. This paper fills this gap by examining the effect of the ADA on the decision-making of disabled Americans regarding post-secondary education. Using data from the CPS, we implement difference-in-differences and synthetic difference-in-differences empirical approaches to estimate this causal effect. We find that the ADA substantially negatively impacted post-secondary educational attainment, which is the opposite of its intended objective.

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