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International Comparisons of Work Disability

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  • James Banks
  • Arie Kapteyn
  • James P. Smith
  • Arthur van Soest

Abstract

Self-reported work disability is analyzed in the US, the UK and the Netherlands. Different wordings of the questions lead to different work disability rates. But even if identical questions are asked, crosscountry differences remain substantial. Respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in vignettes are used to identify the extent to which differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales. Results suggest that more than half of the difference between the rates of self-reported work disability in the US and the Netherlands can be explained by response scale differences. A similar methodology is used to analyze the reporting bias that arises if respondents justify being on disability benefits by overstating their work limiting disabilities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 155.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:155

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Keywords: work limiting disability; vignettes; reporting bias; justification bias;

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References

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  1. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
  2. Kreider, Brent, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Staff General Research Papers 5185, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
  5. Maarten Lindeboom & Marcel Kerkhofs, 2002. "Health and Work of the Elderly," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-025/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
  7. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Jones, Melanie K. & Latreille, Paul L. & Sloane, Peter J., 2007. "Disability and Work: A Review of the British Evidence," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 473-498, Abril.
  2. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2007. "The Adequacy of Retirement Savings: Subjective Survey Reports by Retired Canadians," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 199, McMaster University.
  3. Oliver Röhn Rigmar Osterkamp, 2005. "Being on Sick Leave – Possible Explanations for Differences of Sick-leave Days AcrossCountries Privatization," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Papers No. 19, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  4. Arie Kapteyn & James Smith & Arthur van Soest & James Banks, 2007. "Labor Market Status and Transitions During the Pre-Retirement Years: Learning from International Differences," Working Papers wp149, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. McFadden, Daniel L. & Bemmaor, Albert C. & Caro, Francis G. & Dominitz, Jeff & Jun, Byung-hill & Lewbel, Arthur & Matzkin, Rosa L. & Molinari, Francesca & Schwarz, Norbert & Willis, Robert J. & Winter, 2005. "Statistical analysis of choice experiments and surveys," Munich Reprints in Economics 19251, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. David Begg & Stephany Griffith-Jones, 1998. "Swinging since the 60's: Fluctuations in UK Saving and Lessons for Latin America," Research Department Publications 3032, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. John Bishop & K. Chow & John Formby & Chih-Chin Ho, 1997. "Did Tax Reform Reduce Actual US Progressivity? Evidence from the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 177-197, May.
  8. Stephen G. Donald & Garry F. Barrett, 2004. "Consistent Nonparametric Tests for Lorenz Dominance," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 321, Econometric Society.
  9. Échevin, Damien, 2009. "Employment and Education Discrimination against Disabled Persons in Cape Verde," MPRA Paper 19497, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2007. "Work Disability, Health, and Incentive Effects," MEA discussion paper series 07135, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  11. Richard Blundell, 1995. "Tax policy reform: why we need microeconomics," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 106-125, January.
  12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2010. "Work Disability: The Effects of Demography, Health, and Disability Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 37-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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