The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 597–610 | Cite as

An evaluation of the 1987 French Disabled Workers Act: better paying than hiring

  • Thomas BarnayEmail author
  • Emmanuel Duguet
  • Christine Le Clainche
  • Yann Videau
Original Paper


This paper presents the first evaluation of the French Disabled Workers Act of 1987, which aimed to promote the employment of disabled people in the private sector. We use a panel data set, which includes both the health and the labour market histories of workers. We account both for unobserved heterogeneity and for the change in the disabled population over time. We find that the law had a negative impact on the employment of disabled workers in the private sector. This counterproductive effect likely comes from the possibility to pay a fine instead of hiring disabled workers.


Disability Employment Policy evaluation Triple difference Matching Weighting 



We thank Mathieu Narcy (Cee, Upec), Meriam Barhoumi-Sabraoui (Dares), Emmanuelle Cambois (Ined), Elise Coudin (Crest), Pierre Jean Messe (Gains, LeMans), Sébastien Roux (Banque de France), Valerie Ulrich (Drees) and the participants of the TEPP Conference “Research in Health and Labour Economics”, the 35th JESF conference, the Scientific workshop of CDC, the 63th AFSE Congress, the 4th SOLE/EALE World Meetings (Montreal), the 11th IHEA World Congress (Milan) and the 2nd Annual Conference of the IAAE (Thessaloniki) for their helpful comments. Finally, we thank the anonymous referees for their relevant comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Paris-Est Créteil, ERUDITE, TEPP -FR CNRS 3435, IST-PECréteilFrance
  2. 2.Université Lille 2, LEMLilleFrance
  3. 3.Center for Employment Studies (Centre d’Etudes de l’Emploi)Noisy-le-GrandFrance

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