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Disability Variables in the American Housing Survey


Authors: Eggers, Frederick J.     Moumen, Fouad     Econometrica, Inc.    

Report Acceptance Date: November 2011 (42 Pages)

Posted Date: June 13, 2012

The American Housing Survey (AHS) added six questions about disability in the 2009 survey. The questions were taken from the American Community Survey (ACS) and the same questions have been used in other Federal surveys. This report compares the treatment of disability in the AHS with these and other Federal surveys. It notes that the AHS shows substantially lower incidence of persons and households with disabilities than the ACS. Part of the reason for this may be differences in the way AHS and ACS administer the surveys and the fact that ACS imputes missing values, while AHS does not. There is still an unexplained gap between AHS and ACS so the report recommends further analysis. The report notes the relative frequency of different disability measures in the AHS and the patterns of measures that are found together. The report shows that the incidence of disability is higher among households living in mobile homes, non metropolitan areas, and older units. It also shows that the incidence of disability increases monotonically as severity of rent burden increases. The report corroborates how disability limits the income earning of any household, especially one-member households who represent one third of all households with disabilities. On the positive side, the report confirms that people with disabilities are more likely to live in assisted housing. It provides guidance as to which source of disability data a research should use, depending on his or her objective. An appendix duplicates much of the household-level analysis of the main report at the person level and finds much the same results.


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