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MAPSS » Blog Archive » Upcoming talk: Arie Kapteyn: Nov 6th: Self Reported Disability and Reference Groups

Upcoming talk: Arie Kapteyn: Nov 6th: Self Reported Disability and Reference Groups

The talk will take place at the Meyer Forum Room at 12:15 pm.

Bio: Arie Kapteyn is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and director of RAND Labor and Population. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, past president of the European Society for Population
Economics, and corresponding member of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before joining RAND, Dr. Kapteyn held a chair in econometrics at Tilburg University, where he served the university in numerous capacities, including dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; founder and director of Center (a research institute and graduate school) and of CentERdata (a survey research institute); and director of CentER Applied Research (a contract research institute). He has held visiting positions at several universities, including Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, Australian National University, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, University of Bristol, and University of Southern California.

Dr. Kapteyn’s research expertise covers microeconomics, public finance, and econometrics. Much of his recent applied work is in the fi eld of aging, with papers on topics related to retirement, consumption and savings, pensions and Social Security, disability, and economic well-being of the elderly. At RAND, he leads several projects, including one to incorporate Internet interviewing into the HRS; a center on the analysis of health and economic determinants of retirement in the United States and Western Europe; and a center on the analysis of economic decisionmaking related to retirement and saving and investing for retirement. He is also a lead researcher in a consortium designing and implementing the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), which will provide unique opportunities for international comparative research.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from Leiden University.

Abstract for the Talk: 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 depend 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 e¤ects 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.

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