TitleEarnings of Persons with Disabilities: Who Earns More (Less) from Entrepreneurial Pursuit?
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsYang, Y, Kulkarni, M, Baldridge, D, Konrad, A
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Date Published2022

Earnings of Persons with Disabilities:
Who Earns More (Less) from Entrepreneurial Pursuit?
Abstract. Persons with disabilities (PWD) are among the largest and most diverse minority groups and among the most disadvantaged in terms of employment. Entrepreneurial pursuit is often advocated as a path toward employment, inclusion, and equality, yet few studies have investigated earning variation among PWD.
Methodology. We draw on social cognitive career theory (SCCT) and disability employment and entrepreneurship literatures to develop hypotheses about who among PWD are likely to earn more (less) from entrepreneurial pursuits. We then conduct analyses on the nationally representative sample of Canadian Survey on Disability including all PWD engaged in entrepreneurial pursuit and match each to an organizationally employed counterpart of the same gender and race, and of similar age and disability severity (n ≈ 810).
Findings. Entrepreneurial pursuit has a stronger negative association with earnings of PWD who experience earlier disability onset ages, who report more unmet accommodation needs, and who are female.
Originality. First, this study applies SCCT to help bridge literatures on organizational employment barriers for PWD and entrepreneurs with disabilities. Second, we call into question the logic of neoliberalism about entrepreneurship by showing that barriers to organizational employment impact entrepreneurial pursuit decisions and thereby earnings. Third, we extend understanding of entrepreneurial earnings among PWD by examining understudied disability and demographic attributes. Lastly, this study is among the first to use a matched sample to empirically test the impact of entrepreneurial pursuit on the earnings of PWD.
Keywords. disabilities, social cognitive career theory (SCCT), entrepreneurial pursuit, onset age, accommodation, disability origin