The Cost of Disability in China

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February 2014


We describe the degree to which household income is negatively associated with the prevalence of different types of disability (i.e. medical impairments) in China using data from the 2006 China National Sample Survey of Disabled Persons. We then calculate the extra costs of disability across different types of households and show how these costs differ by the type and severity of disability in both urban and rural areas. We finally use nationally-representative panel data on persons with disabilities from 2007 to 2009 to examine the degree to which social security measures are reaching persons with different types and severity of disabilities in both urban and rural areas. We conclude that while social assistance and insurance for households with disabilities is increasing rapidly over time, it is still not enough to offset the income differential between households with and without disabled persons, especially when accounting for the extra costs of living associated with disability.

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