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Does self-assessed health measure health?

Author

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  • Denise Doiron
  • Denzil G. Fiebig
  • Meliyanni Johar
  • Agne Suziedelyte

Abstract

Despite concerns about reporting biases and interpretation, self-assessed health (SAH) remains the measure of health most used by researchers, in part reflecting its ease of collection and in part the observed correlation between SAH and objective measures of health. Using a unique Australian data set, which consists of survey data linked to administrative individual medical records, we present empirical evidence demonstrating that SAH indeed predicts future health, as measured by hospitalizations, out-of-hospital medical services and prescription drugs. Our large sample size allows very disaggregate analysis and we find that SAH predicts more serious, chronic illnesses better than less serious illnesses. Finally, we compare the predictive power of SAH relative to administrative data and an extensive set of self-reported health measures; SAH does not add to the predictive power of future utilization when the administrative data is included and improves prediction only marginally when the extensive survey-based health measures are included. Clearly there is value in the more extensive survey and administrative health data as well as greater cost of collection.

Suggested Citation

  • Denise Doiron & Denzil G. Fiebig & Meliyanni Johar & Agne Suziedelyte, 2015. "Does self-assessed health measure health?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 180-194, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:47:y:2015:i:2:p:180-194
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2014.967382
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    Cited by:

    1. Davillas, Apostolos & Pudney, Stephen, 2020. "Biomarkers as precursors of disability," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    2. Karlsson, Martin & Klohn, Florian & Rickayzen, Ben, 2018. "The role of heterogeneous parameters for the detection of selection in insurance contracts," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 110-121.
    3. Cheny, L.; & Clarke, P.M.; & Petrie, D.J.; & Staub, K.E.;, 2018. "The effects of self-assessed health: Dealing with and understanding misclassification bias," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Christian Bünnings, 2017. "Does new health information affect health behaviour? The effect of health events on smoking cessation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(10), pages 987-1000, February.
    5. Leonardo Becchetti & Maria Bachelet & Fabio Pisani, 2019. "Poor eudaimonic subjective wellbeing as a mortality risk factor," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(1), pages 245-272, April.
    6. Zhiming Cheng & Ben Zhe Wang & Lucy Taksa, 0. "Labour Force Participation and Employment of Humanitarian Migrants: Evidence from the Building a New Life in Australia Longitudinal Data," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-24.
    7. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2017. "Parental health and children's cognitive and noncognitive development: New evidence from the longitudinal survey of Australian children," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 1767-1788, December.
    8. Anthony Lepinteur, 2018. "The Asymmetric Experience of Gains and Losses in Job Security on Health," CREA Discussion Paper Series 18-16, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    9. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Ritter, Joseph A., 2018. "Measuring the Health Cost of Prolonged Unemployment: Evidence from the Great Recession," Miscellaneous Publications 280435, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    10. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Ritter, Joseph A., 2018. "Measuring the Health Cost of Prolonged Unemployment: Evidence from the Great Recession," Staff Papers 280435, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    11. Leonardo Becchetti & Maria Bachelet & Fabiola Riccardini, 2018. "Not feeling well … true or exaggerated? Self‐assessed health as a leading health indicator," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 153-170, February.
    12. Petra Maresova & Blanka Klimova & Kamil Kuca, 2016. "Financial and legislative aspects of drug development of orphan diseases on the European market -- a systematic review," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(27), pages 2562-2570, June.
    13. Cheng, Zhiming & Wang, Ben Zhe & Taksa, Lucy, 2017. "Labour Force Participation and Employment of Humanitarian Migrants: Evidence from the Building a New Life in Australia Longitudinal Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 106, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. Bousmah, Marwân-al-Qays & Combes, Jean-Baptiste Simon & Abu-Zaineh, Mohammad, 2019. "Health differentials between citizens and immigrants in Europe: A heterogeneous convergence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 235-243.
    15. Xiaoxue Li & Sarah S. Stith, 2020. "Health insurance and self‐assessed health: New evidence from Affordable Care Act repeal fear," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(9), pages 1078-1085, September.
    16. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2019. "Health outcomes, health inequality and Mandarin proficiency in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-1.
    17. Kokot, Johanna, 2017. "Does a spouse's health shock influence the partner's risk attitudes?," Ruhr Economic Papers 707, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

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