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How does heterogeneity shape the socioeconomic gradient in health satisfaction?

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  • Andrew M. Jones
  • Stefanie Schurer

Abstract

Individual heterogeneity plays a key role in explaining variation in self-reported well-being and, in particular, health satisfaction. It is hypothesised that the influence of this heterogeneity varies over levels of health and increases over the life-cycle. These hypotheses are tested with data on health satisfaction from 22 waves of the German Socioeconomic Panel (GSOEP).Nonlinear fixed effects methods that allow for unobserved heterogeneity are not readily available for categorical measures of well-being. One common solution is to revert to conditional fixed effects methods, at the price of a high degree of information loss. Another common solution is to ignore the association between unobserved heterogeneity and socio-economic status by using pooled or random effects models, at the price of potential bias.We use a generalization of the conditional fixed effects logit, that allows for individual-specific reporting bias, heterogeneity in health endowments, and heterogeneity in the impact of income on health satisfaction. Adjusting for unobserved heterogeneity accounts for the relationship between income and very good health, but not between income and poorer health states. The income gradient for older age-groups is more strongly affected by controlling for unobserved heterogeneity: revealing an increasing influence of heterogeneity on health satisfaction over the life-span.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 549-579

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Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:26:y:2011:i:4:p:549-579

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2011. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Benjamin Artz, 2010. "Fringe benefits and job satisfaction," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(6), pages 626-644, September.
  3. Jan Brenner, 2007. "Parental Impact on Attitude Formation - A Siblings Study on Worries about Immigration," Ruhr Economic Papers 0022, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Michael Fertig & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany – The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," Ruhr Economic Papers 0020, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Stefanie Schurer & Jongsay Yong, 2010. "Personality, Well-being and Heterogeneous Valuations of Income and Work," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Cubi-Molla, P. & Jofre-Bonet, M. & Serra-Sastre, V., 2013. "Adaptation to Health States: A Micro-Econometric Approach," Working Papers 13/02, Department of Economics, City University London.
  7. Stefanie Schurer, 2008. "Discrete Heterogeneity in the Impact of Health Shocks on Labour Market Outcomes," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2011. "A simple method for estimating unconditional heterogeneity distributions in correlated random effects models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 12-15, October.
  9. Fernández-Val, Iván & Savchenko, Yevgeniya & Vella, Francis, 2013. "Evaluating the Role of Individual Specific Heterogeneity in the Relationship Between Subjective Health Assessments and Income," IZA Discussion Papers 7651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jesus M. Carro & Alejandra Traferri, 2011. "State Dependence and Heterogeneity in Health Using a Bias Corrected Fixed Effects Estimator," Documentos de Trabajo 402, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  11. Schurer, S.; & Yong, J.;, 2012. "Personality, well-being and the marginal utility of income: What can we learn from random coefficient models?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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