Self-Rated Health Status of the Japanese and Europeans in Later Life: Evidence from JSTAR and SHARE

Author Name FUJII Mayu  (Hitotsubashi University) /OSHIO Takashi  (Hitotsubashi University) /SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi  (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. October 2012 12-E-061
Research Project Toward a Comprehensive Resolution of the Social Security Problem: A new economics of aging
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Using panel data from two surveys in Japan and Europe, we examine the comparability of the self-rated health (SRH) of the middle-aged and elderly across Japan and the European countries and the survey periods. We find that a person's own health is evaluated on different standards (thresholds) across the different countries and survey waves. When evaluated on common thresholds, the Japanese elderly are found to be healthier than their counterparts in the European countries. At the individual level, reporting biases leading to discrepancies between the changes in individuals' SRH and their actual health over the survey waves are associated with age, education, and country of residence.