Weekly wage exploration of vocational rehabilitation service recipients: A quantile regression approach

Youngsoon Kang, Kelly Nye-Lengerman PhD, Derek K Nord PhD


Earnings of people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) in a labor market can be a useful indicator of the quality of employment, economic mobility, and the quality of life of people with disabilities. To develop a more complete picture of employment outcomes for people with disabilities, weekly wage was examined applying quantile regression technique. Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service Report (RSA-911) data from FY 2014 was used for both Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and quantile regression analyses. Quantile regression technique allows us to analyze a set of exploratory variables at different quantiles of the weekly wage distribution in comparison with OLS estimation. Results suggest that the income disparity is significant, particularly at more extreme ends of quantiles, which is the lower or higher weekly wage distribution. Findings indicated that males earned more than females, individuals with no significant disability earned more than individuals with the most significant disability, individuals whose primary source of financial support is public support or family/friends/other support earned less of their own income, and people with cerebral palsy or epilepsy earned more, and people with multiple-disabilities earned less than people with IDD. Moreover, the results indicate that the quantile regression estimates of demographics, disability types, significant disability status, and primary sources of financial support show different patterns of changes and consistent upward or downward trends across quantiles of weekly wage distribution in comparison with the OLS estimates. This study provides additional insight into the importance of understanding earnings and the variability that may be able to be addressed by targeted approaches by rehabilitation professionals and policymakers.

Suggested Citation

Kang, Y., Nord, D., & Nye-Lengerman, K. (2019). Weekly wage exploration of vocational rehabilitation service recipients: A quantile regression approach. Journal of Rehabilitation, 85(1), 4–14. Retrieved from https://experts.umn.edu/en/publications/weekly-wage-exploration-of-vocational-rehabilitation-service-reci


Peer-Reviewed Article 
Volume 85, Number 1
Journal of Rehabilitation