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

See all articles by Christian Pfarr

Christian Pfarr

University of Bayreuth

Brit S. Schneider

University of Bayreuth

Udo Schneider

Techniker Krankenkasse

Volker Ulrich

University of Bayreuth - Department of Law and Economics

Date Written: August 3, 2010

Abstract

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

Pfarr, Christian and Schneider, Brit S. and Schneider, Udo and Ulrich, Volker, I Feel Good! Gender Differences and Reporting Heterogeneity in Self-Assessed Health (August 3, 2010). University of Bayreuth Discussion Paper No. 05-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1670714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1670714

Christian Pfarr

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.fiwi.uni-bayreuth.de

Brit S. Schneider

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.fiwi.uni-bayreuth.de

Udo Schneider (Contact Author)

Techniker Krankenkasse ( email )

Bramfelder Str. 140
D-22305 Hamburg
Germany

Volker Ulrich

University of Bayreuth - Department of Law and Economics ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

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