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Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases

  • Viola Angelini

    ()

    (University of Padua)

  • Danilo CAVAPOZZI

    ()

    (University of Padua)

  • Luca CORAZZINI

    ()

    (University of Padua)

  • Omar PACCAGNELLA

    ()

    (University of Padua)

Self-reported life satisfaction is highly heterogeneous across similar countries. We show that this phenomenon can be largely explained by the fact that individuals adopt different scales and benchmarks in evaluating themselves. Using a cross sectional dataset on individuals aged 50 and over in ten European countries, we compare estimates from an Ordered Probit in which life satisfaction scales are invariant across respondents with those from a Hopit model in which vignettes are used to correct for individual-specific scale biases. We find that variations in response scales explain a large part of the differences found in raw data. Moreover, the crosscountry ranking in life satisfaction dramatically depends on scale biases.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0090.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0090
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