IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the biases in self-reported disability status: evidence from aggregate data


  • Naoko Akashi-Ronquest
  • Paul Carrillo
  • Bruce Dembling
  • Steven Stern


Self-reported health status measures are generally used to analyse Social Security Disability Insurance's (SSDI) application and award decisions as well as the relationship between its generosity and labour force participation. Due to endogeneity and measurement error, the use of self-reported health and disability indicators as explanatory variables in economic models is problematic. We employ county-level aggregate data, instrumental variables and spatial econometric techniques to analyse the determinants of variation in SSDI rates and explicitly account for the endogeneity and measurement error of the self-reported disability measure. Two surprising results are found. First, it is shown that measurement error is the dominating source of the bias and that the main source of measurement error is sampling error. Second, results suggest that there may be synergies for applying for SSDI when the disabled population is larger.

Suggested Citation

  • Naoko Akashi-Ronquest & Paul Carrillo & Bruce Dembling & Steven Stern, 2011. "Measuring the biases in self-reported disability status: evidence from aggregate data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(11), pages 1053-1060.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:18:y:2011:i:11:p:1053-1060
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2010.524603

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W.R. Phillips, 2002. "Applications, Denials, and Appeals for Social Security Disability Insurance," Working Papers wp032, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Barnay & Julie Favrot & Catherine Pollak, 2015. "L'effet des arrêts maladie sur les trajectoires professionnelles," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 475(1), pages 135-156.
    2. Thomas Barnay, 2016. "Health, work and working conditions: a review of the European economic literature," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(6), pages 693-709, July.
    3. Thomas Barnay & Eric Defebvre, 2016. "The influence of mental health on job retention," TEPP Working Paper 2016-06, TEPP.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:18:y:2011:i:11:p:1053-1060. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.