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How large is the bias in self-reported disability?

Author

Listed:
  • Hugo Benítez-Silva

    (Stony Brook University, State University of New York, USA)

  • Moshe Buchinsky

    (University of California, Los Angeles, USA, National Bureau of Economic Research, USA and CREST-INSEE, France)

  • Hiu Man Chan

    (Charles River Associates, Boston, USA)

  • Sofia Cheidvasser

    (Goldman Sachs, New York, USA)

  • John Rust

    (University of Maryland, USA, and National Bureau of Economic Research, USA)

Abstract

A pervasive concern with the use of self-reported health measures in behavioural models is that individuals tend to exaggerate the severity of health problems in order to rationalize their decisions regarding labour force participation, application for disability benefits, etc. We re-examine this issue using a self-reported indicator of disability status from the Health and Retirement Study. We study a subsample of individuals who applied for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), for whom we can also observe the SSA's decision. Using a battery of tests, we are unable to reject the hypothesis that self-reported disability is an unbiased indicator of the SSA's decision. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo Benítez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2004. "How large is the bias in self-reported disability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 649-670.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:19:y:2004:i:6:p:649-670
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.797
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Halpern, Janice & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Choice under uncertainty: A model of applications for the social security disability insurance program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 131-161, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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