Motivation for work among non-working disabled people in Norway in a life course perspective


​The aim of this study is to analyze attitudes towards work among non-working disabled people and to address their motivation in a life course perspective. The background of the study is low employment rates among disabled people. One hypothesis is that a generous welfare system has disincentive effects because replacement rates of social security are too generous. Although the existing evidence is conflicting, some studies of inflow into benefits suggest that the welfare system may have such effects on people in their 50’s and 60’s. However these studies tend to draw general conclusions.

The current article is based on a 2007 Norwegian dataset on the living conditions of disabled people(n= 1652). The findings suggest that age has a profound influence on motivation to work and is undoubtedly the most important predictor. Motivation to work among young disabled people tends to be strong but declines in later life. The substantial age effects are discussed in terms of the experience of exclusion and the availability of alternative social roles. The implication for interpretations of disincentive research is that caution must be exercised when suggesting general conclusions about disincentives based on research examining individuals who are in the final phase of a typical working career.