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

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  • Bago d'Uva T
  • Lindeboom M
  • O'Donnell O
  • van Doorslaer E

Abstract

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 HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 09/30.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/30

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

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References

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  1. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Franco Peracchi & Claudio Rossetti, 2012. "Heterogeneity in health responses and anchoring vignettes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 513-538, April.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Viola Angelini & Danilo CAVAPOZZI & Luca CORAZZINI & Omar PACCAGNELLA, 2009. "Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0090, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Florence Jusot & Sabine Mage & Marta Menendez, 2014. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health in Indonesia," Working Papers DT/2014/06, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  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. Luisa Corrado & Paola Samˆ, 2012. "Inside the Life Satisfaction Blackbox," Econometica Working Papers wp44, Econometica.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

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