Who is telling the truth? Biases in self-reported physical and cognitive health status of older Europeans

Spitzer S & Weber D ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7873-0458 (2019). Who is telling the truth? Biases in self-reported physical and cognitive health status of older Europeans. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-19-002

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Project: Reassessing Ageing from a Population Perspective (RE-AGEING, FP7 323947), The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing (EmpoweredLifeYears, H2020 741105)

Abstract

This paper quantifies the contribution of individual characteristics to the bias in self-reported physical and cognitive health status of the 50-plus population in 19 European countries. The analysis utilises micro-data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to compare performance-tested outcomes of mobility and memory with their self-reported equivalents. Relative importance analysis shows that the bias in self-reported health is mostly due to reporting heterogeneities between countries and age groups, whereas gender contributes little to the discrepancy. For self-reported cognition specifically, education is an important factor explaining the misreporting. Southern as well as Central and Eastern Europeans are much more likely to misreport their physical and cognitive abilities than Northern and Western Europeans. Overall, our results suggest that comparisons of self-reported health between countries and age groups are prone to significant biases, whereas comparisons between genders are credible for most European countries.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 14:19
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 14:19
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15792

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