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Ill-health as a household norm: Evidence from other people's health problems

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

Abstract

This paper proposes 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 health norm effects. Using 13 waves of the British Household Panel Survey covering the period 1991-2005, I show that, while there is a negative and statistically significant correlation between SAH and individuals' own health problem index, this negative effect reduces with the average number of health problems per (other) family member. The relative health bias is small, however, which implies that measures of SAH may not suffer seriously from systematic health norm bias. This is an important finding for researchers working with SAH data as it indicates that we do not have to worry too much about controlling for confounding influences from the health of other household members when estimating SAH regression equations.

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2009. "Ill-health as a household norm: Evidence from other people's health problems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-259, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:2:p:251-259
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    3. Maite Blázquez Cuesta & Santiago Budría, 2014. "Deprivation and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Panel Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 655-682, December.
    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 "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    5. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Andrew E. Clark, 2013. "Social comparisons, health and well-being," Post-Print halshs-00879776, HAL.
    8. Caroli, Eve & Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane, 2016. "Self-reported health and gender: The role of social norms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 220-229.
    9. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2015. "Conspicuous consumption, conspicuous health, and optimal taxation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 59-70.
    10. S. Wouters & N. Exel & M. Donk & K. Rohde & W. Brouwer, 2015. "Do people desire to be healthier than other people? A short note on positional concerns for health," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 47-54, January.
    11. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2009. "What happens to people before and after disability? Focusing effects, lead effects, and adaptation in different areas of life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 1834-1844, December.
    12. Gil, Joan & Mora, Toni, 2011. "The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 78-91, January.
    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. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2009. "Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction," Working Papers halshs-00566120, HAL.
    15. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting different price tags on the same health condition: Re-evaluating the well-being valuation approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1032-1043.
    16. 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.
    17. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2012. "Jobless, Friendless and Broke: What Happens to Different Areas of Life Before and After Unemployment?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(315), pages 557-575, July.
    18. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    19. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    20. Lars Thiel, 2014. "Illness and Health Satisfaction: The Role of Relative Comparisons," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 695, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    21. Lopez-Agudo, Luis Alejandro & Marcenaro-Gutierrez, Oscar David, 2021. "The relationship between overweight and academic performance, life satisfaction and school life," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    22. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2009. "Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness," Discussion Papers 09/02, Department of Economics, University of York.

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