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Are objective, official measures of disability reliable?

Abstract of Working paper 2005:14

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


Published by:

Ifau

Changed:

9/21/2010