I Feel Good! Gender Differences and Reporting Heterogeneity in Self-Assessed Health
University of Bayreuth Discussion Paper No. 05-10
27 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2010
Date Written: August 3, 2010
For empirical analysis and policy-oriented recommendation, the precise measurement of individual health or well-being is essential. The problem with variables based on questionnaires such as self-assessed health is that the answer may depend on individual reporting behaviour. Moreover, if individual's health perception varies with certain attitudes of the respondent reporting heterogeneity may lead to index or cut-point shifts of the health distribution, causing estimation problems. We analyse the reporting behaviour of individuals on their self-assessed health status, a five-point categorical variable. We explore observed heterogeneity in categorical variables and include unobserved individual heterogeneity using German panel data. Estimation results show different impacts of socioeconomic and health related variables on the five subscales of self-assessed health. Moreover, the answering behaviour varies between female and male respondents, pointing to gender specific perception and assessment of diseases. Reporting behaviour on self-assessed health questions in surveys is problematic due to a possible heterogeneity. Hence, in case of reporting heterogeneity, using self-assessed measures in empirical studies may be misleading or at least ambiguous.
Keywords: Reporting Heterogeneity, Generalized Ordered Probit, Self-Assessed Health
JEL Classification: I12, C21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation