Utilization and Analysis of Census 2000
Data to Inform
Disability Advocacy and Employment Policy
About the Presenter
Andrew J. Houtenville, PhD., has been
a Senior Research Associate at Cornell University’s Program
on Employment and Disability since March 1999. Prior to that he
was a National Institute on Aging Post-doctoral Fellow at Syracuse
University’s, Center for Demography and Economics of Aging.
He is currently the Principle Investigator of NIDRR-funded Field
Initiated Projects to disseminate and analyze Census2000 data, and
Principal Investigator of a Secondary Data Analysis Grant funded
by the National Center for Education Statistics to analyze the disability
content of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
data and the selection bias introduced by the exclusion of students
with disabilities from national and state assessments.
Dr. Houtenville has close work relationships with a number of nationally
recognized econometrians and empirical economists who are faculty
members at Cornell University. In addition to his research skills,
he has several years of experience disseminating state level estimates
of prevalence, employment and income (based on CPS data). Recently
he developed the Cornell RRTC website, www.disabilitystatsistics.org
to help relate state level statistics to a broader audience.
In recent work, Houtenville and Daly (2003) investigated the influence
of demographic shifts on changes in the employment rate of people
who report work limitations. Using decomposition analysis, they
found that almost none of the 1990s decline in the employment rate
of this population was due to shifts toward demographic sub-populations
with traditionally low employment rates. Houtenville (2000a, 2000b,
2000c) focuses on patterns in state-level estimates of prevalence,
employment and incomes of people with work limitations using CPS
data. The prevalence of disability across states followed the “Disability
Belt” (Appalachia and the Lower Mississippi Valley) that is
also seen in patterns of SSI/SSDI participation. In ongoing research,
Houtenville and Dr. Ruiz-Quintanilla are investigating differences
in the prevalence of disability within the Hispanic population.
This research is driven by early findings that revealed substantially
higher prevalence rates among Puerto Ricans in the continental United
Using data from three nationally representative surveys, Burkhauser,
Houtenville and Wittenburg (2001) provides a user’s guide
to disability employment statistics. This guide highlights how and
why various definitions of disability and employment/unemployment
yield different results and provide an explanation for these differences.
Burkhauser, Daly, Houtenville, and Nargis (2001) use repeated cross-sectional
data from the CPS and NHIS to track the working-age population (aged
25-61) who report work limitations and their employment status,
program participation, and income relative to people who do not
report work limitations for every year over the period 1981 through
2000. The most striking finding of this research is that the employment
time trends of the work limitations-based population are not statistically
different from the employment trends of a broader impairment-based
population. This research substantially reduced doubts about the
ability of work limitation-based survey questions to address data.
In an ongoing study under the Cornell Employment RRTC, Drs. Houtenville
and Burkhauser are investigating the robustness of research out
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that suggest the ADA cause
the employment rate of people with disabilities to decline in the
In a report recently produced for the National Research Council,
Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee
on Disability Determination for Individuals with Visual Impairments,
Houtenville (2001) compares the economic outcomes of working-age
civilians (aged 25-61) reporting various impairments in the NHIS.
Comparisons across impairment categories revealed that the economic
experience of those who report being blind in both eyes is similar
to the economic experience of those who report paraplegia/hemiplegia/quadriplegia
and those who report cerebral palsy.
Dr. Houtenville received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University
of New Hampshire in 1997, after which he spent two years as a National
Institute on Aging Post-Doctoral Fellow and Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse
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