Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 08-16: The validity of vignettes in cross country health studies

Nabanita Datta Gupta (), Nicolai Kristensen () and Dario Pozzoli ()
Additional contact information
Nabanita Datta Gupta: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Aabyhøj, Denmark
Nicolai Kristensen: Institute of Government Studies & Aarhus School of Business, Postal: University of Aarhus, CIM and CCP, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Dario Pozzoli: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Aabyhøj, Denmark

Abstract: Cross-country comparisons of subjective assessments may be ham- pered by sub-population speci…c response style. To correct for this, the use of vignettes has become increasingly popular - notably within cross- country health studies. However, the validity of vignettes as a means to re-scale across sample sub-populations critically rests on the assump- tion of "response consistency" (RC): vignettes and self-assessments are evaluated on the same scale. In this paper we seek to test this as- sumption by using objective measures of health along with subjective measures and vignettes. Our results indicate that the assumption of RC is not innocous and that our extended model improves the …t and signi…cantly changes the cross-country rankings of health vis-á-vis the standard Chopit model.

Keywords: Cross-country health comparison; Subjective measures; Vignettes

JEL-codes: C25; I10

35 pages, September 8, 2008

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