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Heterogeneous 'adaptation' and 'income effects' across self-reported health distribution?

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  • Costa-Font, Montserrat
  • Costa-Font, Joan

Abstract

Self-reported health is a key quality-of-life measure affected by well-known cognitive biases, such as adaptation (or anchoring to past health conditions) along with a socio-economic vector. There are good reasons to think that both effects heterogeneously impact the health distribution. This paper carries on empirical exercise to test whether the effects of adaptation and income are indeed, affected by individual heterogeneity. We use a continuous scale of health (the Visual Analogue Scale or VAS) and ex-post evaluations of the individual health status to capture adaptation using quantile regression. Our findings suggest that adaptation effects exhibit an inverse U-shaped form, more common in the median of the health distribution. Income effects exhibit a marked and non-linear impact at low quantiles. This is consistent with the hypothesis that income investments for relatively healthy people translate into very moderate effects on health. Health changes evaluated by the median individual are relatively more affected by adaptation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 574-580

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:4:p:574-580

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Health production Adaptation Socio-economic inequalities Quantile regression;

References

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  1. Andrew M. Jones & Ángel López-Nicolás, 2002. "The importance of individual heterogeneity in the decomposition of measures of socioeconomic inequality in health: An approach based on quantile regression," Economics Working Papers 626, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Contoyannis, Paul & Forster, Martin, 1999. "The distribution of health and income: a theoretical framework," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 603-620, October.
  3. Parkin, David & Rice, Nigel & Jacoby, Ann & Doughty, Julie, 2004. "Use of a visual analogue scale in a daily patient diary: modelling cross-sectional time-series data on health-related quality of life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 351-360, July.
  4. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275.
  5. Groot, Wim, 2000. "Adaptation and scale of reference bias in self-assessments of quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 403-420, May.
  6. Jason Abrevaya, 2001. "The effects of demographics and maternal behavior on the distribution of birth outcomes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 247-257.
  7. Farrell, Phillip & Fuchs, Victor R. & Fuchs, Victor R., 1982. "Schooling and health : The cigarette connection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 217-230, December.
  8. David M. Cutler & Elizabeth Richardson, 1997. "Measuring the Health of the U.S. Population," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 217-282.
  9. Manor, Orly & Matthews, Sharon & Power, Chris, 1997. "Comparing measures of health inequality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 761-771, September.
  10. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  11. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2000. "Chapter 34 Equity in health care finance and delivery," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 34, pages 1803-1862 Elsevier.
  12. Namkee Ahn, . "Assessing Self-Assessed Health Data," Working Papers 2002-24, FEDEA.
  13. Torrance, George W., 1986. "Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal : A review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, March.
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