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International Comparisons of Work Disability

  • Banks, James

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Kapteyn, Arie

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

  • Smith, James P.

    ()

    (RAND)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

Self-reported work disability is analyzed in the US, the UK and the Netherlands. Different wordings of the questions lead to different work disability rates. But even if identical questions are asked, cross-country differences remain substantial. Respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in vignettes are used to identify the extent to which differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales. Results suggest that more than half of the difference between the rates of self-reported work disability in the US and the Netherlands can be explained by response scale differences. A similar methodology is used to analyze the reporting bias that arises if respondents justify being on disability benefits by overstating their work limiting disabilities.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1118.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1118.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: David Cutler and David Wise (eds.), Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability Among the Elderly, University of Chicago Press, 2008, 251-294
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1118
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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. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Andrew J. Houtenville & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Self-reported work limitation data: what they can and cannot tell us," Working Paper Series 2002-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
  5. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  6. Kreider, Brent, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Staff General Research Papers 5185, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
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