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

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  • Viola Angelini, Danilo Cavapozzi, Luca Corazzini, Omar Paccagnella.

Abstract

Self-reported life satisfaction is highly heterogeneous across similar countries. We show that this phenomenon can by 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 cross countries ranking in life satisfaction dramatically depends on scale biases.

Suggested Citation

  • Viola Angelini, Danilo Cavapozzi, Luca Corazzini, Omar Paccagnella., 2008. "Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases," ISLA Working Papers 31, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:slp:islawp:islawp31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Viola Angelini & Laura Casi & Luca Corazzini, 2015. "Life satisfaction of immigrants: does cultural assimilation matter?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 817-844, July.
    2. Christian Bjørnskov, 2010. "How Comparable are the Gallup World Poll Life Satisfaction Data?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 41-60, March.
    3. Bertoni, Marco, 2015. "Hungry today, unhappy tomorrow? Childhood hunger and subjective wellbeing later in life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 40-53.
    4. Viola Angelini & Danilo Cavapozzi & Luca Corazzini & Omar Paccagnella, 2012. "Age, Health and Life Satisfaction Among Older Europeans," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 293-308, January.
    5. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0828-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Eric Bonsang & Arthur Soest, 2012. "Satisfaction with Job and Income Among Older Individuals Across European Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 227-254.
    7. repec:eee:socmed:v:190:y:2017:i:c:p:247-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Angelini, Viola & Bertoni, M & Corazzini, L., 2014. "Unpacking the determinants of life satisfaction," Research Report 14014-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    9. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Kristensen, Nicolai & Pozzoli, Dario, 2010. "External validation of the use of vignettes in cross-country health studies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 854-865, July.
    10. Nikolova, Milena & Popova, Olga, 2017. "Sometimes Your Best Just Ain't Good Enough: The Worldwide Evidence on Well-Being Efficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 10774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Marco Bertoni & Luca Corazzini, 2015. "Life Satisfaction and Endogenous Aspirations," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 761, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Knott, R. & Lorgelly, P. & Black, N. & Hollingsworth, B., 2016. "Differential item functioning in the EQ-5D: An exploratory analysis using anchoring vignettes," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Danilo Cavapozzi & Wei Han & Raffaele Miniaci, 2015. "Alternative weighting structures for multidimensional poverty assessment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(3), pages 425-447, September.
    14. Andrew M. Jones; Nigel Rice, Silvana Robone; & Nigel Rice; & Silvana Robone:, 2012. "A comparison of parametric and non-parametric adjustments using vignettes for self-reported data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    15. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Diagnosing unhappiness dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    16. Senik, Claudia, 2014. "The French unhappiness puzzle: The cultural dimension of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 379-401.
    17. Martina Celidoni & Vincenzo Rebba, 2015. "Healthier lifestyles after retirement in Europe? Evidence from SHARE," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0201, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    18. Proto, Eugenio & Rustichini, 2012. "A Reassessment of the Relationship Between GDP and Life Satisfaction," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 94, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    19. Omar Paccagnella, 2011. "Anchoring vignettes with sample selection due to non‐response," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(3), pages 665-687, July.
    20. Koen Decancq & Alexander Michiels, 2016. "Measuring Successful Aging with Respect For What Matters To Older Persons," Working Papers 1604, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    21. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:60-73 is not listed on IDEAS

    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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