Explaining Heterogeneity in Use of Non-wage Benefits

The Role of Worker and Firm Characteristics in Disability Accommodations

Published in: AEA Papers and Proceedings, Volume 112, pages 376-380 (May 2022). doi: 10.1257/pandp.20221124

Posted on RAND.org on August 24, 2022

by Naoki Aizawa, Corina Mommaerts, Stephanie Rennane

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Non-wage benefits are an important component of employment arrangements, but are not available to or used by all workers. Do differences in firm, worker, or match-specific characteristics drive benefit take-up? We provide new evidence on heterogeneity in use of non-wage benefits, focusing on disability accommodations. Using administrative data in Oregon, we document significant dispersion in accommodation rates across worker and firm characteristics. We decompose the variance in accommodation use, finding that firm characteristics explain substantially more than worker or injury characteristics (29 percent vs. 4 percent). This finding highlights the firm's role in use of non-wage benefits like disability accommodations.

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