Can We Trust Older People’s Statements on their Childhood Circumstances? Evidence from SHARELIFE

SHARE Working Paper Series 05-2011

30 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012

See all articles by Fabrizio Mazzonna

Fabrizio Mazzonna

University of Lugano - Institute of Microeconomics and Public Economics; Munich Center for the Economics of Ageing (MEA); Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy

Enkelejda Havari

European Commission - Joint Research Centre; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

This study provides evidence about the quality of retrospective assessments of individuals aged 50 regarding their childhood histories in 3rd wave of the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Early life events are important to social scientists in predicting individuals’ outcomes in adulthood. Nevertheless, there is wide skepticism about the ability of old age respondents to recall with good accuracy events which happened decades ago. We assess the internal and external consistency of some measures of childhood health and socio-economic status and find that overall respondents seem to remember well their health status and living conditions between ages 0-15. Thanks to the cross-country dimension of SHARE (13 European countries), we are able to compare individual responses with aggregate data (e.g. GDP per capita) at country level. The results we find should mitigate doubts on retrospective data collection and promote their use for research purposes.

Keywords: retrospective, childhood, health, SHARE, methods

JEL Classification: I10, J10, J14

Suggested Citation

Mazzonna, Fabrizio and Havari, Enkelejda and Havari, Enkelejda, Can We Trust Older People’s Statements on their Childhood Circumstances? Evidence from SHARELIFE (August 1, 2011). SHARE Working Paper Series 05-2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2004299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2004299

Fabrizio Mazzonna (Contact Author)

University of Lugano - Institute of Microeconomics and Public Economics ( email )

Switzerland
+41 58 666 4787 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.usi.ch/en/personal-info?id=2299

Munich Center for the Economics of Ageing (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstraße 33
München, 80799
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy ( email )

Amalienstraße 33
München, 80799
Germany

Enkelejda Havari

affiliation not provided to SSRN

European Commission - Joint Research Centre ( email )

Via Enrico Fermi
Ispra, Varese 21027
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/enkehavari/

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