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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1003913
 
 

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Self Reported Disability and Reference Groups


Arthur Van Soest


Tilburg University; Netspar; RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Arie Kapteyn


Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Tatiana Andreyeva


Yale University

James P. Smith


RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

November 2006

RAND Working Paper No. WR-409-1

Abstract:     
Individuals are influenced by the types of people with whom they associate and who form their social networks. These social interactions may affect individual and social norms. We develop a direct test of this using Dutch survey data on how respondents evaluate work disability of hypothetical people with some work related health problem (vignettes). We analyze how the thresholds respondents use to decide what constitutes a (mild or more serious) work disability depends on the number of people receiving disability insurance benefits (DI) in their reference group. To account for endogeneity of DI receipt in a respondent's reference group, we jointly model the respondent's own self-reported work disability, the evaluation thresholds, and DI receipt in the reference group. We find that reference group effects are significant, and contribute substantially to an explanation of why self-reported work disability in the Netherlands is much higher than in, e.g., the US. This implies an important role for social interactions and norms on the perception of work limitations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: Disability, reference groups, anchoring vignettes

JEL Classification: C8, J6, H3

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Date posted: August 2, 2007  

Suggested Citation

van Soest, Arthur and Kapteyn, Arie and Andreyeva, Tatiana and Smith, James P., Self Reported Disability and Reference Groups (November 2006). RAND Working Paper No. WR-409-1. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1003913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1003913

Contact Information

Arthur H. O. Van Soest (Contact Author)
Tilburg University ( email )
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands
Netspar
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
RAND Corporation ( email )
P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Arie Kapteyn
Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California ( email )
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States
310-448-5383 (Phone)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Tatiana Andreyeva
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
James P. Smith
RAND Corporation ( email )
P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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