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Ill-health as a household norm: Evidence from other people's health problems

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

Abstract

This paper proposes that an individual's self-assessed health (SAH) does not only suffer from systematic reporting bias and adaptation bias but is also biased owing to confounding health norm effects. Using 13 waves of the British Household Panel Survey covering the period 1991-2005, I show that, while there is a negative and statistically significant correlation between SAH and individuals' own health problem index, this negative effect reduces with the average number of health problems per (other) family member. The relative health bias is small, however, which implies that measures of SAH may not suffer seriously from systematic health norm bias. This is an important finding for researchers working with SAH data as it indicates that we do not have to worry too much about controlling for confounding influences from the health of other household members when estimating SAH regression equations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 251-259

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:2:p:251-259

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Keywords: Self-assessed health Subjective health Relative Norm Comparison effects Chronic illness British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) UK;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andrew E. Clark, 2012. "Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 452, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Nattavudh Powdthavee, . "Jobless, Friendless, and Broke: What Happens to Different Areas of Life Before and After Unemployment?," Discussion Papers 09/15, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2009. "Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness," Discussion Papers 09/02, Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566789 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2009. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Working Papers 2009.96, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Blázquez, Maite & Budría, Santiago, 2011. "Deprivation and Subjective Well-being: Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2011/08, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  7. Gil, Joan & Mora, Toni, 2011. "The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 78-91, January.
  8. Vincenzo Carrieri & Maria De Paola, 2011. "The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being," Working Papers 201110, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  9. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566139 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Timothy A. Weterings & Mark N. Harris & Bruce Hollingsworth, 2012. "Extending Unobserved Heterogeneity - A Strategy for Accounting for Respondent Perceptions in the Absence of Suitable Data," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 12/12, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  11. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting Different Price Tags on the Same Health Condition: Re-evaluating the Well-Being Valuation Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 5493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  13. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566120 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "How much does money really matter? Estimating the causal effects of income on happiness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 77-92, August.

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