Not Feeling Well… (True or Exhaggerated?) Health (Un)Satisfaction as a Leading Health Indicator

47 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2015

See all articles by Maria Bachelet

Maria Bachelet

University of Rome, Tor Vergata

Leonardo Becchetti

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Fabiola Riccardini

Italian National Statistical Institute

Date Written: April 2, 2015

Abstract

A desirable property of subjective wellbeing indicators is their capacity to predict future objective outcomes. In our paper we provide novel cross-country original evidence documenting that lagged health (un)satisfaction is a leading health indicator, that is, a significant predictor of future changes in health conditions on a large sample of Europeans aged above 50. We find that, after controlling for attrition bias, lagged (un)satisfaction with health is significantly and positively correlated with changes in the number of chronic diseases, net of the concurring impact of levels and changes in socio-demographic factors and health styles, country and regional health system effects and declared symptoms. Our findings are robust in age, gender, education and income class splits and are significant when separately estimated in the 13 countries of our sample. We further test the ordinal predictive properties of the health (un)satisfaction indicator in magnitude and statistical significance. Illness specific estimates document that the impact of lagged health (un)satisfaction is significant on ulcer, hypertension, arthritis and cholesterol (and weakly so on cataracts, hip or femoral fracture and lung diseases), while having a robust and significant effect on the probability of contracting cancer.

Keywords: health outcomes, health satisfaction

JEL Classification: I12, I31

Suggested Citation

Bachelet, Maria and Becchetti, Leonardo and Riccardini, Fabiola, Not Feeling Well… (True or Exhaggerated?) Health (Un)Satisfaction as a Leading Health Indicator (April 2, 2015). CEIS Working Paper No. 336. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2589145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2589145

Maria Bachelet

University of Rome, Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy

Leonardo Becchetti (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
I-00133 Rome
Italy

Fabiola Riccardini

Italian National Statistical Institute ( email )

Via Cesare Balbo 16
00184 Rome, 0185
Italy

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
51
rank
371,779
Abstract Views
565
PlumX Metrics