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Disability policies and public views on work disability: A comparative analysis using anchoring vignette data

Na Yin, Frank Heiland

Article ID: 220
Vol 3, Issue 1, 2017, Article identifier:42-63

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Using data on disability vignettes from representative surveys in the U.S. and seven European countries, we conduct a comparative analysis of disability policies and public views on work limitations. We hypothesize that program characteristics are related to individuals’ perceptions about work limitations. Looking at how respondents across countries characterize identical disability vignettes, we find evidence that disability policy dimensions such as policy coverage, medical assessment, and vocational assessment strongly predict disability perceptions. We illustrate the results in a series of counterfactual policy simulations. Our findings have implications for policy design and delivery. The anchoring vignette approach may also be useful in a wide range of comparative policy studies.


comparative analysis of disability policies; disability perception; anchoring vignette approach

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