What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?
Survey reports of the incidence of chronic conditions are considered by many researchers to be more objective, and thus preferable, measures of unobserved health status than self-assessed measures of global well being. In this paper we evaluate this hypothesis by attempting to validate these “objective, self-reported” measures of health. Our analysis makes use of a unique data set that matches a variety of self-reports of health with respondents’ medical records. We find that these measures are subject to considerable response error resulting in large attenuation biases when they are used as explanatory variables.
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