A Comparative Analysis of Self-Rated General Health in Three Developing Countries

Yaqiang Qi, Renmin University of China
Peifeng Hu, University of California, Los Angeles
William M. Mason, University of California, Los Angeles

The validity and comparability of self-rated general health have been relatively better known among developed societies, but little is known, for developing countries, about how self-rated general health correlates with other health indicators and whether different social groups report their health status differently. In this study, we will rely on health surveys from three developing countries with dramatic cultural and socioeconomic variations: China, Indonesia and Mexico, to examine the validity and comparability of self-rated general health among developing countries. We estimate a heterogeneous ordered probit model that allows for cut points of self-rated general health varying as a function of individual characteristics to examine heterogeneous reporting behaviors among social groups after an approximation of “true” health status is controlled. Moreover, we compare whether the correlational structure between self-rated general health and other health indicators is consistent across populations and examine how reporting heterogeneity affects cross-population comparability of self-rated general health.

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Presented in Session 166: What Subjective Health Status Does and Doesn't Measure