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Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands

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

Abstract

Self-reported work disability is analyzed in the US and The Netherlands. The raw data show that Dutch respondents much more often report that they have a work limiting health problem than respondents in the US. The difference remains when controlling for demographic characteristics and observed onsets of health problems. Respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in vignettes are used to identify the extent to which the differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales. A model that assumes the same response scales for different health domains is compared with a model that allows for domain specific response scales. Results of both models suggest that about half of the difference between the self-reported rates of work disability in the US and The Netherlands can be explained by response scale differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 206.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:206

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Keywords: work limiting disability; vignettes; reporting bias;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Andrew J. Houtenville & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Self-reported work limitation data: what they can and cannot tell us," Working Paper Series 2002-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. 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.
  7. Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara, 2000. "The economics of disability and disability policy," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 995-1051 Elsevier.
  8. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly, 2002. "Policy Watch: U.S. Disability Policy in a Changing Environment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 213-224, Winter.
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