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Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases

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  • Viola Angelini, Danilo Cavapozzi, Luca Corazzini, Omar Paccagnella.

Abstract

Self-reported life satisfaction is highly heterogeneous across similar countries. We show that this phenomenon can by largely explained by the fact that individuals adopt different scales and benchmarks in evaluating themselves. Using a cross sectional dataset on individuals aged 50 and over in ten European countries, we compare estimates from an Ordered Probit in which life satisfaction scales are invariant across respondents with those from a Hopit model in which vignettes are used to correct for individual-specific scale biases. We find that variations in response scales explain a large part of the differences found in raw data. Moreover, the cross countries ranking in life satisfaction dramatically depends on scale biases.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/slp/papers/islawp31.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series ISLA Working Papers with number 31.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:slp:islawp:islawp31

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Keywords: Life satisfaction; scale biases; vignette; counterfactuals.;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Bjørnskov, 2010. "How Comparable are the Gallup World Poll Life Satisfaction Data?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 41-60, March.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bonsang Eric & Soest Arthur van, 2010. "Satisfaction with job and income among older individuals across European countries," ROA Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  6. Andrew E. Clark & Yarine Fawaz, 2009. "Valuing jobs via retirement: European evidence," Working Papers halshs-00566855, HAL.

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