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Slipping Anchor? Testing the Vignettes Approach to Identification and Correction of Reporting Heterogeneity

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Author Info

  • Teresa Bago d'Uva

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Netspar)

  • Maarten Lindeboom

    (VU University Amsterdam, and Netspar)

  • Owen O'Donnell

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Macedonia, University of Lausanne, and Netspar)

  • Eddy van Doorslaer

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This discussion paper led to a publication in 'The Journal of Human Resources' .Anchoring vignettes are increasingly used to identify and correct heterogeneity in the reporting of health, work disability, life satisfaction, political efficacy, etc. with the aim of improving interpersonal comparability of subjective indicators of these constructs. The method relies on two assumptions: vignette equivalence – the vignette description is perceived by all to correspond to the same state; and, response consistency - individuals use the same response scales to rate the vignettes and their own situation. We propose tests of these assumptions. For vignette equivalence, we test a necessary condition of no systematic variation with observed characteristics in the perceived difference in states corresponding to any two vignettes. To test response consistency we rely on the assumption that objective indicators fully capture the covariation between the construct of interest and observed individual characteristics, and so offer an alternative way to identify response scales, which can then be compared with those identified from the vignettes. We also introduce a weaker test that is valid under a less stringent assumption. We apply these tests to cognitive functioning and mobility related health problems using data from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing. Response consistency is rejected for both health domains according to the first test, but the weaker test does not reject for cognitive functioning. The necessary condition for vignette equivalence is rejected for both health domains. These results cast some doubt on the validity of the vignettes approach, at least as applied to these health domains.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 09-091/3.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20090091

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Reporting heterogeneity; Survey methods; Vignettes; Health; Cognition;

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References

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  1. James Banks & Zoe Oldfield, 2007. "Understanding Pensions: Cognitive Function, Numerical Ability and Retirement Saving," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(2), pages 143-170, 06.
  2. Rice, N & Robone, S & Smith, P.C, 2008. "International Comparison of Public Sector Performance: The Use of Anchoring Vignettes to adjust Self-Reported Data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  4. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-point shift and index shift in self-reported health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1083-1099, November.
  5. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  6. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
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Cited by:
  1. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. Van Praag & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2011. "Vignette Equivalence and Response Consistency; The Case of Job Satisfaction," CESifo Working Paper Series 3662, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Viola Angelini & Danilo Cavapozzi & Luca Corazzini & Omar Paccagnella, 2012. "Age, Health and Life Satisfaction Among Older Europeans," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 293-308, January.
  3. Franco Peracchi & Claudio Rossetti, 2012. "Heterogeneity in health responses and anchoring vignettes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 513-538, April.
  4. Becchetti, Leonardo & Corrado, Luisa & Samà, Paola, 2012. "Inside the Life Satisfaction Blackbox," AICCON Working Papers 116-2012, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  5. Nigel Rice & Silvana Robone & Peter Smith, 2011. "Analysis of the validity of the vignette approach to correct for heterogeneity in reporting health system responsiveness," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 141-162, April.
  6. Angelini, V.; & Cavapozzi, D.; & Corazzini L.; & Paccagnell O.;, 2011. "Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Florence Jusot & Sabine Mage & Marta Menendez, 2014. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health in Indonesia," Working Papers DT/2014/06, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  8. Viola Angelini & Danilo Cavapozzi & Omar Paccagnella, 2012. "Cross-Country Differentials in Work Disability Reporting Among Older Europeans," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 211-226, January.
  9. Omar Paccagnella, 2011. "Anchoring vignettes with sample selection due to non‐response," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(3), pages 665-687, 07.
  10. Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Exterkate, Anneke, 2013. "How survey design affects self-assessed health responses in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 299-307.
  11. Nicolas Sirven & Brigitte Santos-Eggimann & Jacques Spagnoli, 2012. "Comparability of Health Care Responsiveness in Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 255-271, January.
  12. Renske Kok & Mauricio Avendano & Teresa Bago d’Uva & Johan Mackenbach, 2012. "Can Reporting Heterogeneity Explain Differences in Depressive Symptoms Across Europe?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 191-210, January.
  13. Andrew M. Jones; Nigel Rice, Silvana Robone; & Nigel Rice; & Silvana Robone:, 2012. "A comparison of parametric and non-parametric adjustments using vignettes for self-reported data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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