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What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?

Michael Baker, Mark Stabile and Catherine Deri
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Autumn, 2004), pp. 1067-1093
DOI: 10.2307/3559039
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3559039
Page Count: 27
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What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?
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Abstract

Survey reports of the incidence of chronic conditions are considered by many researchers to be more objective, and thus preferable, measures of unobserved health status than self-assessed measures of global well being. In this paper we evaluate this hypothesis by attempting to validate these "objective, self-reported" measures of health. Our analysis makes use of a unique data set that matches a variety of self-reports of health with respondents' medical records. We find that these measures are subject to considerable response error resulting in large attenuation biases when they are used as explanatory variables.

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