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

Listed author(s):
  • Viola Angelini, Danilo Cavapozzi, Luca Corazzini, Omar Paccagnella.

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.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/slp/papers/islawp31.pdf
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Paper provided by ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series ISLA Working Papers with number 31.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:slp:islawp:islawp31
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Web page: http://www.isla.unibocconi.it/

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  5. Nigel Rice & Silvana Robone & Peter Smith, 2009. "Analysis of the Validity of the Vignette Approach to Correct for Heterogeneity in Reporting Health System Responsiveness," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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  17. 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.
  18. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
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