Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2860

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2007-43

RAND Working Paper No. WR-501

37 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007

See all articles by Arthur van Soest

Arthur van Soest

Tilburg University; Netspar; RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Liam Delaney

University College Dublin (UCD) - Geary Institute and Department of Economics

Colm P. Harmon

The University of Sydney - School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arie Kapteyn

Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Comparing self-assessed indicators of subjective outcomes such as health, work disability, political efficacy, job satisfaction, etc. across countries or socio-economic groups is often hampered by the fact that different groups use systematically different response scales. Anchoring vignettes have been introduced as an effective tool to correct for such differences. This paper develops an integrated framework in which objective measurements are used to validate the vignette-based corrections. The framework is applied to vignettes and objective and subjective self-assessments of drinking behavior by students in Ireland. Model comparisons using the Akaike information criterion favor a specification with response consistency and vignette corrected response scales. Put differently, vignette based corrections appear quite effective in bringing objective and subjective measures closer together.

Keywords: anchoring vignettes, reporting bias, hopit model

JEL Classification: C81, I12

Suggested Citation

van Soest, Arthur H. O. and Delaney, Liam D. and Harmon, Colm P. and Kapteyn, Arie and Smith, James P., Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales (June 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2860; CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2007-43; RAND Working Paper No. WR-501. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995403

Arthur H. O. van Soest (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Liam D. Delaney

University College Dublin (UCD) - Geary Institute and Department of Economics ( email )

Newman Building (Room G215)
Belfield, Dublin 4
Ireland

Colm P. Harmon

The University of Sydney - School of Economics ( email )

Rm 370 Merewether (H04)
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arie Kapteyn

Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States
310-448-5383 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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