NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Self Reported Disability and Reference Groups

Arthur van Soest, Tatiana Andreyeva, Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith

NBER Working Paper No. 17153
Issued in June 2011
NBER Program(s):   AG   HE

Social networks and social interactions 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 depend on the number of people receiving disability insurance benefits (DI) in their 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, for example, the US.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17153

Published: Self-Reported Disability and Reference Groups, Arthur van Soest, Tatiana Andreyeva, Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith. in Investigations in the Economics of Aging, Wise. 2012

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