Valuing Health Conditions - Insights from Happiness Surveys across Countries and Cultures
AbstractThis paper assesses the effects of different health conditions on happiness. Based on a large data set for Latin America, the effects of different conditions are examined across age, gender, and income cohorts. Anxiety and pain have stronger effects than physical problems, likely because people can adapt better to one-time shocks than to constant uncertainty. The negative effects of health conditions are very large when compared to the effects of income on happiness. While higher peer income typically elicits envy, better peer health provides positive signals for life and health satisfaction. Nonetheless, health norms vary widely across countries. The results suggest that the life satisfaction approach applied to surveys of health may contribute to better health expenditure and policy decisions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4635.
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Happiness; Health economics; Public policy; Surveys;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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