The Stability of Self Assessed Health Status
The use of self assessed health status as a measure of health is common in empirical research. We analyse a unique Australian survey in which a random sub-sample of respondents answer a standard self assessed health question twice -- before and after an additional set of health related questions. 28% of respondents change their reported health status. Response instability is related to age, income and occupation. We also compare the responses of these individuals to other respondents who are queried only once. The distributions of responses to both questions by the former group are statistically different from the distribution of responses by the latter group.
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