Providing employment-related services, including supported employment through job coaches, has been a priority in federal policy since the enactment of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act in 1984. We take advantage of a unique panel data set of all clients served by the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs between 1999 and 2005 to investigate whether job coaching leads to stable employment in community settings. The data contain information on individual characteristics, such as IQ and the presence of emotional and behavioral problems, that are likely to affect both employment propensity and likelihood of receiving job coaching. Our results show that unobserved individual characteristics and endogeneity strongly bias naive estimates of the effects of job coaching. However, even after correcting for these biases, an economically and statistically significant treatment effect remains.
Supported employment, job coaching, employment of the disabled
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