QUT ePrints

Robustness in health research : do differences in health measures, techniques, and time frame matter?

Frijters, Paul & Ulker, Aydogan (2008) Robustness in health research : do differences in health measures, techniques, and time frame matter? Journal of Health Economics, 27(6), pp. 1626-1644.

View at publisher

Abstract

Survey-based health research is in a boom phase following an increased amount of health spending in OECD countries and the interest in ageing. A general characteristic of survey-based health research is its diversity. Different studies are based on different health questions in different datasets; they use different statistical techniques; they differ in whether they approach health from an ordinal or cardinal perspective; and they differ in whether they measure short-term or long-term effects. The question in this paper is simple: do these differences matter for the findings? We investigate the effects of life-style choices (drinking, smoking, exercise) and income on six measures of health in the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) between 1992 and 2002: (1) self-assessed general health status, (2) problems with undertaking daily tasks and chores, (3) mental health indicators, (4) BMI, (5) the presence of serious long-term health conditions, and (6) mortality. We compare ordinal models with cardinal models; we compare models with fixed effects to models without fixed-effects; and we compare short-term effects to long-term effects. We find considerable variation in the impact of different determinants on our chosen health outcome measures; we find that it matters whether ordinality or cardinality is assumed; we find substantial differences between estimates that account for fixed effects versus those that do not; and we find that short-run and long-run effects differ greatly. All this implies that health is an even more complicated notion than hitherto thought, defying generalizations from one measure to the others or one methodology to another.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
5 citations in Web of Science®

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 30849
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Morbidity, Mortality, Lifestyle, Income
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.06.003
ISSN: 0167-6296
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Health Economics (140208)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Elsevier
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2010 22:48
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:41

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page