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How large is the bias in self-reported disability?

  • Hugo Ben�tez-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)

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.797
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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2004-v19.6/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 649-670

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:19:y:2004:i:6:p:649-670
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  1. Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998. "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," NBER Working Papers 6503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bierens, H.J., 1989. "A consistent conditional moment test of functional form," Serie Research Memoranda 0064, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  3. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2000. "How Large is the Bias in Self-Reported Disability?," Working Papers 2000-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Public Economics 9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
  5. Donald W. K. Andrews & Moshe Buchinsky, 2000. "A Three-Step Method for Choosing the Number of Bootstrap Repetitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 23-52, January.
  6. Jianting Hu & Kajal Lahiri & Denton R. Vaughan & Bernard Wixon, 2001. "A Structural Model Of Social Security'S Disability Determination Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 348-361, May.
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