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What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?

  • Michael Baker
  • Mark Stabile
  • Catherine Deri

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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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXIX/4/1067
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 39 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:4:p1067-1093
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
  2. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
  3. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  4. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  5. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
  6. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  7. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
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