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Although approximately 1 billion people in the world live with physical disabilities, there is a lack of rigorous research on the economic impacts of providing assistive devices for persons with disabilities. This study involves 261 people with disabilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where 121 had received wheelchair donations through nonprofit organisations. Using covariate matching (CVM), seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR) and a series of robustness checks for endogeneity, it is found that those given access to a wheelchair devoted 1.75 more hours per day to work, 1.40 fewer hours per day to street begging and realised a 77.5 per cent increase in income. Results point to a 122 per cent internal rate of return based on new income created from wheelchair donation.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Development Effectiveness on 2016-01-02, available online:



Available for download on Sunday, July 02, 2017