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Self-Reported Disability and Reference Groups

In: Investigations in the Economics of Aging

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

Social networks and social interactions affect individual and social norms. We develop a direct test of this using Dutch survey data on how respondents evaluate work disability of hypothetical people with some work related health problem (vignettes). We analyze how the thresholds respondents use to decide what constitutes a (mild or more serious) work disability depend on the number of people receiving disability insurance benefits (DI) in their reference group. We find that reference group effects are significant and contribute substantially to an explanation of why self-reported work disability in the Netherlands is much higher than in, for example, the US.

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This chapter was published in:
  • David A. Wise, 2012. "Investigations in the Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise11-2, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12441.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12441
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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