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

Black, N., Johnston, D. & Suziedelyte, A. (2017). Justification bias in self-reported disability: New evidence from panel data. Journal of Health Economics, 54, pp. 124-134. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.05.001

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Justification bias; Disability; Non-employment; Panel data
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Economics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/17614

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