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Are objective, official measures of disability reliable?

  • Johansson, Per

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Skedinger, Per

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI))

The issue considered in this study is whether objective, official reports on disability status are reliable. While there is a rather large literature on the reliability of self-reported disability, evidence regarding objective data is scant. It seems to be a widely held view among researchers that, since individuals out of work are inclined to respond towards poor health, it would be best to have official data provided by the relevant administrative bodies. But we argue that such administrative data should be regarded with some suspicion, since the administrators also may have incentives to misreport. The empirical evidence, based on a large sample of Swedish jobseekers, suggests systematic misreporting by the Public Employment Service of objective, official disability measures due to incentives to exaggerate disability.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005:14.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 16 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2005_014
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
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Web page: http://www.ifau.se/
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  1. 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.
  2. Anders Björklund, 1985. "Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 469-483.
  3. Hugo Ben�tez-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.
  4. Benitez-Silva, Hugo & Buchinsky, Moshe & Chan, Hiu Man & Rust, John & Sheidvasser, Sofia, 1999. "An empirical analysis of the social security disability application, appeal, and award process," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 147-178, June.
  5. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & John Rust, 2004. "How Large are the Classification Errors in the Social Security Disability Award Process?," NBER Working Papers 10219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2001. "What do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," NBER Working Papers 8419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Julie Berry Cullen, 1999. "The Impact of Fiscal Incentives on Student Disability Rates," NBER Working Papers 7173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
  9. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
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