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Ill-Health as a Household Norm: Evidence from Other People's Health Problems

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  • N Powdthavee

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that an individual's self-assessed health (SAH) does not only suffer from systematic reporting bias and adaptation bias but is also biased owing to confounding social norm effects. Using 13 waves of the British Household Panel Survey, I am able to show that, while there is a negative and statistically significant correlation between SAH and individuals' own health problem index, this negative effect varies significantly with the average number of health problems per (other) family member. Consistent with Akerlof's (1980) social norm theory, the gap in SAH between individuals with and without health problems reduces as the average number of health problems for other household members increases. Under the assumption that SAH is endogenous, this finding suggests that the objective health of other household members could be a good instrument for self-assessed levels of health.

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File URL: http://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/discussionpapers/2008/0821.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/21.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:08/21

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Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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Fax: (0)1904 323759
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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: Self-assessed health; subjective health; relative; norm; comparison effects; chronic illness; BHPS;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566139 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566789 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Timothy A. Weterings & Mark N. Harris & Bruce Hollingsworth, 2012. "Extending Unobserved Heterogeneity - A Strategy for Accounting for Respondent Perceptions in the Absence of Suitable Data," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 12/12, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  4. Vincenzo Carrieri & Maria De Paola, 2011. "The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being," Working Papers 201110, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  5. Andrew E. Clark, 2008. "Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586049, HAL.
  6. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2009. "Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness," Discussion Papers 09/02, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting Different Price Tags on the Same Health Condition: Re-evaluating the Well-Being Valuation Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 5493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2014. "Winning big but feeling no better? The effect of lottery prizes on physical and mental health," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566789, HAL.
  9. Blázquez, Maite & Budría, Santiago, 2011. "Deprivation and Subjective Well-being: Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2011/08, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  10. Nattavudh Powdthavee, . "Jobless, Friendless, and Broke: What Happens to Different Areas of Life Before and After Unemployment?," Discussion Papers 09/15, Department of Economics, University of York.
  11. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "How much does money really matter? Estimating the causal effects of income on happiness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 77-92, August.
  12. Joan Gil & Toni Mora, 2009. "The Determinants of Misreporting Weight and Height: The Role of Social Norms," Working Papers 2009-01, FEDEA.
  13. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  14. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566120 is not listed on IDEAS

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