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20080227 Disability Poverty and Schooling in Developing Countries


20080227 Disability Poverty and Schooling in Developing Countries

Analysis of 14 household surveys from 13 developing countries suggests that 1–2
percent of the population have disabilities. Adults with disabilities typically live in
poorer than average households: disability is associated with about a 10 percentage
point increase in the probability of falling in the two poorest quintiles. Much of the
association appears to reflect lower educational attainment among adults with
disabilities. People of ages 6–17 with disabilities do not live in systematically wealthier
or poorer households than other people of their age, although in all countries
studied they are significantly less likely to start school or to be enrolled at the time
of the survey. The order of magnitude of the school participation deficit associated
with disability—which is as high as 50 percentage points in 3 of the 13 countries—is
often larger than deficits related to other characteristics, such as gender, rural residence,
or economic status differentials. The results suggest a worrisome vicious cycle
of low schooling attainment and subsequent poverty among people with disabilities
in developing countries.