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Disability Status as an Unobservable: Estimates From a Structural Model

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  • Robert Haveman
  • Barbara Wolfe
  • Fung Mey Huang

Abstract

We propose an index of "true disability" by treating disability status as an unobservable phenomenon which is both causally related to a number of exogenous characteristics of an individual and correlated with a number of observed indicators of health, impairment and qualifications for employment. First, we define true disability and distinguish it from related concepts. We then discuss the importance of an objective and reliable measure of disability for research on the determinants of behavior. Next, we present the specification of our structural model for estimating true disability as a latent variable. Finally, we report the results of our estimation in a simple model of Labor force participation, and compare the effect of using the constructed index and a self-reported disability measure on understanding the determinants of behavior and choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe & Fung Mey Huang, 1989. "Disability Status as an Unobservable: Estimates From a Structural Model," NBER Working Papers 2831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2831 Note: HE
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    1. Parsons, Donald O, 1982. "The Male Labour Force Participation Decision: Health, Reported Health, and Economic Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 81-91, February.
    2. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "Labor Supply Incentives and Disincentives for the Disabled," NBER Working Papers 1744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1982:72:8:800-808_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Haveman, Robert H & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 532-541, June.
    5. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
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    Cited by:

    1. François-Charles Wolff & Philippe Tessier, 2005. "Offre de travail et santé en France," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 168(2), pages 17-41.
    2. Даниелян, Владимир, 2016. "Детерминанты Пенсионного Возраста: Обзор Исследований
      [Determinants of Retirement Age: A Review of Research]
      ," MPRA Paper 73865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
    4. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3309-3416 is not listed on IDEAS

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