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Do workers underreport morbidity? The accuracy of self-reports of chronic conditions

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  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita
  • Jürges, Hendrik

Abstract

We use matched Danish health survey and register data to investigate discrepancies between register-based diagnoses and self-reported morbidity. We hypothesize that false negatives (medical diagnoses existing in the register but not reported in the survey) arise partly because individuals fear career repercussions of being discovered suffering a chronic or severe illness that potentially lowers productivity. We find evidence of substantial underreporting, which is indeed systematically higher for individuals in the labor market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1589-1594

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:9:p:1589-1594

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Related research

Keywords: Underreporting of morbidity; Labor force status; Survey-register record linkage; Denmark;

References

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  1. Kapteyn, Arie & Smith, James P. & van Soest, Arthur, 2009. "Work Disability, Work, and Justification Bias in Europe and the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 4388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hamermesh Daniel S. & Slemrod Joel B, 2008. "The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, January.
  3. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Gunasekara, Fiona Imlach & Carter, Kristie & Blakely, Tony, 2012. "Comparing self-rated health and self-assessed change in health in a longitudinal survey: Which is more valid?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1117-1124.
  7. Munir, F. & Leka, S. & Griffiths, A., 2005. "Dealing with self-management of chronic illness at work: predictors for self-disclosure," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1397-1407, March.
  8. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  9. Butler, J S, et al, 1987. "Measurement Error in Self-reported Health Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 644-50, November.
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