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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Angelini, V. & Cavapozzi, D. & Corazzini L. & Paccagnell O., 2011. "Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/20
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction; scale biases; anchoring vignettes; 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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