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Adjusting for heterogeneous response thresholds in cross-country comparisons of self-reported health

Teresa Molina

The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 2017, vol. 10, issue C, 1-20

Abstract: Comparisons of subjective scale measures across countries can be distorted by the use of different response thresholds in different countries. Anchoring vignettes are a survey tool designed to address this problem, and are becoming widely used to adjust comparisons of subjective measures across groups, primarily within countries or across relatively similar high-income countries. This paper expands the existing literature by comparing six domains of self-reported health across the United States, England, and two countries with very different income levels, cultures, and geographic locations – Indonesia and China. In the raw data, respondents from the U.S. and England appear to be in worse health than their Indonesian and Chinese counterparts, but across the majority of health domains, this relationship completely reverses once I account for threshold differences.

Keywords: Self-reported health; Anchoring vignettes; Aging surveys (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J14 I10 I15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2017.08.002

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The Journal of the Economics of Ageing is currently edited by D.E. Bloom, A. Sousa-Poza and U. Sunde

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