NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Anneke Exterkate

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Working Papers

July 2011How Survey Design Affects Inference Regarding Health Perceptions and Outcomes
with Robin L. Lumsdaine: w17244
This paper considers the role of survey design and question phrasing in evaluating the subjective health assessment responses using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset. A unique feature of this dataset is that respondents were twice asked during the survey to evaluate their health on a five-point scale, using two different sets of descriptors to define the five points, with the ordering of which set was first given determined randomly. We find no evidence to refute the assertion that the order was determined by random assignment. Yet we document differences in the response distributions between the two questions, as well as differences in inference in comparing the two populations (those that were asked one question first versus those that were asked the o...

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