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

Author

Listed:
  • Viola Angelini

    () (University of Padua)

  • Danilo CAVAPOZZI

    () (University of Padua)

  • Luca CORAZZINI

    () (University of Padua)

  • Omar PACCAGNELLA

    () (University of Padua)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Viola Angelini & Danilo CAVAPOZZI & Luca CORAZZINI & Omar PACCAGNELLA, 2009. "Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0090, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0090
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction; scale biases; vignette; counterfactuals.;

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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