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International Comparisons of Work Disability

Author

Listed:
  • Banks, James

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Kapteyn, Arie

    () (University of Southern California)

  • Smith, James P.

    () (RAND)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    () (Tilburg University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Banks, James & Kapteyn, Arie & Smith, James P. & van Soest, Arthur, 2004. "International Comparisons of Work Disability," IZA Discussion Papers 1118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1118
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    2. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
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    5. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Melanie K. & Latreille, Paul L. & Sloane, Peter J., 2007. "Disability and Work: A Review of the British Evidence," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 473-498, Abril.
    2. Ágota Scharle & Balázs Váradi, 2013. "Identifying barriers to institutional change in disability services," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 41, WWWforEurope.
    3. David Begg & Stephany Griffith-Jones, 1998. "Swinging since the 60's: Fluctuations in UK Saving and Lessons for Latin America," Research Department Publications 3032, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Richard Blundell, 1995. "Tax policy reform: why we need microeconomics," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 106-125, January.
    5. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald & Debopam Bhattacharya, 2014. "Consistent Nonparametric Tests for Lorenz Dominance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    6. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2007. "Work disability, health, and incentive effects," Papers 07-23, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    7. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest & James Banks, 2010. "Labor Market Status and Transitions during the Pre-Retirement Years: Learning from International Differences," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 63-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oliver Röhn Rigmar Osterkamp, 2005. "Being on Sick Leave – Possible Explanations for Differences of Sick-leave Days Across Countries Privatization," ifo Working Paper Series 19, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    9. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2008. "The Adequacy of Retirement Savings: Subjective Survey Reports by Retired Canadians," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 95-118, November.
    10. Daniel McFadden & Albert Bemmaor & Francis Caro & Jeff Dominitz & Byung-Hill Jun & Arthur Lewbel & Rosa Matzkin & Francesca Molinari & Norbert Schwarz & Robert Willis & Joachim Winter, 2005. "Statistical Analysis of Choice Experiments and Surveys," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-196, December.
    11. Échevin, Damien, 2009. "Employment and Education Discrimination against Disabled Persons in Cape Verde," MPRA Paper 19497, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2010. "Work Disability: The Effects of Demography, Health, and Disability Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 37-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. John Bishop & K. Chow & John Formby & Chih-Chin Ho, 1997. "Did Tax Reform Reduce Actual US Progressivity? Evidence from the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(2), pages 177-197, May.
    14. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2007. "Work Disability, Health, and Incentive Effects," MEA discussion paper series 07135, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    reporting bias; vignettes; work limiting disability; justification bias;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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