Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient

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Abstract

Economists rely heavily on self-reported measures of health to examine the relationship between income and health. We directly compare survey responses of a self-reported measure of health that is commonly used in nationally representative surveys with objective measures of the same health condition. We focus on hypertension. We find no evidence of an income/health gradient using self-reported hypertension but a sizeable gradient when using objectively measured hypertension. We also find that the probability of false negative reporting is significantly income graded. Our results suggest that using commonly available self-reported chronic health measures might underestimate true income-related inequalities in health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540 - 552
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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