Are objective, official measures of disability reliable?

Författare: Per Johansson, Och Per Skedinger, Och

Sammanfattning av

Working paper


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.

Keywords: Work disability, classification error, public employment service
JEL codes: I12, J28, J68