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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):
  • ANGELINI, V.
  • CAVAPOZZI, D.
  • CORAZZINI L.
  • PACCAGNELL O.

Self-reported life satisfaction is highly heterogeneous across similar countries. This phenomenon can be largely explained by the di¤erent scales and benchmarks adopted by individuals when evaluating themselves. We use cross-sectional data on the population aged 50 and over in ten European countries to compare estimates from a model in which reporting styles are assumed to be constant across respon- dents with those from a model in which anchoring vignettes are used to correct for individual-speci?c scale biases. We ?nd that variations in response scales explain a large part of the di¤erences found in raw data. Moreover, the cross-country ranking in life satisfaction signi?cantly depends on scale biases.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/20.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/20
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  19. 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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