Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 925–954 | Cite as

Disability and Life Satisfaction in Italy

  • Tindara Addabbo
  • Elena Sarti
  • Dario SciulliEmail author


During the last decades, the socio-economic policy agenda has devoted an increasing attention to the inclusion of disabled people into society. It follows that understanding the drivers of life outcomes and conditions of disabled people is essential to analyze the sources of disadvantaged positions.

This paper brings evidence on the predictors of life satisfaction of disabled people in Italy, focusing on four specific dimensions (relations with relatives and friends, economic conditions, and leisure time) and analyzing information on people with functional limitations and health problems, as provided by the 2011 ISTAT survey.

Estimation results show that household structure, health and disability status affect life satisfaction more significantly than personal and income variables. Education attainments significantly affect satisfaction with the economic conditions. In addition, support in daily activities may increase satisfaction with economic conditions and leisure time, suggesting that providing non-monetary support would be effective in increasing life satisfaction, especially in those domains requiring freedom of movement. Finally, we find that older disabled people are, on average, more satisfied than younger disabled people, while gender is relevant when interacted with the household type.


Disability Life satisfaction Non-linear response models Average partial effects 

JEL Classification

I31 J14 C21 



This paper is part of the research activities carried out within the PRIN research project “Measuring human development and capabilities in Italy: methodological and empirical issues” (prot. 2009NM89S5_004), by the Pescara and Modena units. It has been presented at the PRIN workshop in the Department of Economics of Pescara, 22–23 April 2013, at the X Jornadas de Economía Laboral held in Madrid in July 2013, at the AIEL conference on Labour Economics held in Rome in September 2013, at the SIE annual congress held in Bologna in October 2013, and at the conference on “Care, Health and Well-being” held in Faro in January 2014. We thank the participants for the stimulating comments provided on the previous versions of this paper. We are also grateful to two anonymous referees for their useful comments. The usual disclaimers apply. All errors and omissions are those of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics “Marco Biagi”University of Modena & Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and CommunicationUniversity of Modena & Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Economic StudiesUniversity “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-PescaraPescaraItaly

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