Disability and Economic Development
- Marc SuhrckeMarc SuhrckeCentre for Health Economics, University of York; Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
While definitional and measurement problems pose a challenge, there is no doubt that disability affects a noticeable share of the population, the vast majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The still comparatively scarce empirical data and evidence suggests that disability is closely associated with poverty and other indicators of economic deprivation at both the country and—if with slightly greater nuance—at the individual/household level. There is also a growing body of evidence documenting the sizeable additional costs incurred by persons with disabilities (PwDs) as a direct or indirect consequence of their disability, underlining the increased risk of PwDs (and the households they are part of) falling under the absolute poverty line in any given LMIC.
Looking ahead, there remains considerable scope for more evidence on the causal nature of the link between disability and poverty, as well as on the (cost-)effectiveness of interventions and policies attempting to improve the well-being of PwDs.