Do household surveys give a coherent view of disability benefit targeting? A multi-survey latent variable analysis for the older population in Great Britain

Ruth Hancock, Marcello Morciano, Stephen Pudney, Francesca Zantomio

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We compare three major UK surveys, BHPS, FRS and ELSA, in terms of the picture they give of the relationship between disability and receipt of the Attendance Allowance (AA) benefit. Using the different disability indicators available in each survey, we use a structural equation approach involving a latent concept of disability in which probabilities of receiving AA depend on disability. Despite major differences in design, once sample composition is standardised through statistical matching, the surveys deliver similar results for the model of disability and AA receipt. Provided surveys offer a sufficiently wide range of disability indicators, the detail of disability measurement appears relatively unimportant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-836
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • disability indexes
  • disability benefits
  • multiple surveys

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