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Justification bias in self-reported disability: New evidence from panel data

Nicole Black, David Johnston () and Agne Suziedelyte ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2017, vol. 54, issue C, 124-134

Abstract: The relationship between health and work is frequently investigated using self-assessments of disability from social surveys. The complication is that respondents may overstate their level of disability to justify non-employment and welfare receipt. This study provides new evidence on the existence and magnitude of justification bias by exploiting a novel feature of a large longitudinal survey: each wave respondents are asked identical disability questions twice; near the beginning and end of the face-to-face interview. Prior to answering the second disability question, respondents are asked a series of questions that increase the salience of their employment and welfare circumstances. Justification bias is identified by comparing the variation between the two measures within-individuals over time, with the variation in employment status over time. Results indicate substantial and statistically significant justification bias; especially for men and women who receive disability pensions.

Keywords: Justification bias; Disability; Non-employment; Panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:124-134