Measuring subjective survival expectations – Do response scales matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyzes the test-retest reliability of subjective survival expectations that are elicited on two widely used response scales: an 11-point scale from 0 to 10 and a full percentage scale from 0 to 100. We compare responses of the same individuals in two surveys fielded in the same month. Reliability is evaluated both at the level of reported probabilities and through a model that relates expectations to socio-demographic variables. Test-retest correlations of survival probabilities are between 0.5 and 0.7, similar to subjective well-being. Only 20% of probabilities are equal across surveys, but up to 61–77% are consistent once we account for rounding. Both scales perform similarly in terms of response rates, internal consistency and fifty-fifty answers. Models that analyze all probabilities jointly reveal similar associations between most covariates and the hazard of death in test and retest datasets. Moreover, expectations are persistent at the level of the individual and this unobserved heterogeneity is strongly correlated across surveys (r ≈  0.8-0.9). Finally, we use a calibrated life cycle model to map survival expectations into wealth and labor supply. Wealth accumulation is sensitive to expectations and correcting for rounding substantially improves reliability of simulated wealth profiles. Taken together this evidence suggests that the two elicitation scales yield reliable measures of expectations, especially when aggregated into individual-level subjective survival curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-156
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Volume165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Wealth
Unobserved heterogeneity
Life-cycle model
Survival probability
Demographic variables
Labor supply
Wealth accumulation
Subjective well-being
Hazard
Internal consistency
Covariates
Response rate

Keywords

  • subjective expectations
  • test-retest reliability
  • life cycle model
  • rounding

Cite this

@article{24a3f8982d20476daffce8efa44811cc,
title = "Measuring subjective survival expectations – Do response scales matter?",
abstract = "This paper analyzes the test-retest reliability of subjective survival expectations that are elicited on two widely used response scales: an 11-point scale from 0 to 10 and a full percentage scale from 0 to 100. We compare responses of the same individuals in two surveys fielded in the same month. Reliability is evaluated both at the level of reported probabilities and through a model that relates expectations to socio-demographic variables. Test-retest correlations of survival probabilities are between 0.5 and 0.7, similar to subjective well-being. Only 20{\%} of probabilities are equal across surveys, but up to 61–77{\%} are consistent once we account for rounding. Both scales perform similarly in terms of response rates, internal consistency and fifty-fifty answers. Models that analyze all probabilities jointly reveal similar associations between most covariates and the hazard of death in test and retest datasets. Moreover, expectations are persistent at the level of the individual and this unobserved heterogeneity is strongly correlated across surveys (r ≈  0.8-0.9). Finally, we use a calibrated life cycle model to map survival expectations into wealth and labor supply. Wealth accumulation is sensitive to expectations and correcting for rounding substantially improves reliability of simulated wealth profiles. Taken together this evidence suggests that the two elicitation scales yield reliable measures of expectations, especially when aggregated into individual-level subjective survival curves.",
keywords = "subjective expectations, test-retest reliability, life cycle model, rounding",
author = "{de Bresser}, Jochem",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1016/j.jebo.2019.06.018",
language = "English",
volume = "165",
pages = "136--156",
journal = "Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization",
issn = "0167-2681",
publisher = "Elsevier Science BV",

}

Measuring subjective survival expectations – Do response scales matter? / de Bresser, Jochem.

In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 165, 09.2019, p. 136-156.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Measuring subjective survival expectations – Do response scales matter?

AU - de Bresser, Jochem

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - This paper analyzes the test-retest reliability of subjective survival expectations that are elicited on two widely used response scales: an 11-point scale from 0 to 10 and a full percentage scale from 0 to 100. We compare responses of the same individuals in two surveys fielded in the same month. Reliability is evaluated both at the level of reported probabilities and through a model that relates expectations to socio-demographic variables. Test-retest correlations of survival probabilities are between 0.5 and 0.7, similar to subjective well-being. Only 20% of probabilities are equal across surveys, but up to 61–77% are consistent once we account for rounding. Both scales perform similarly in terms of response rates, internal consistency and fifty-fifty answers. Models that analyze all probabilities jointly reveal similar associations between most covariates and the hazard of death in test and retest datasets. Moreover, expectations are persistent at the level of the individual and this unobserved heterogeneity is strongly correlated across surveys (r ≈  0.8-0.9). Finally, we use a calibrated life cycle model to map survival expectations into wealth and labor supply. Wealth accumulation is sensitive to expectations and correcting for rounding substantially improves reliability of simulated wealth profiles. Taken together this evidence suggests that the two elicitation scales yield reliable measures of expectations, especially when aggregated into individual-level subjective survival curves.

AB - This paper analyzes the test-retest reliability of subjective survival expectations that are elicited on two widely used response scales: an 11-point scale from 0 to 10 and a full percentage scale from 0 to 100. We compare responses of the same individuals in two surveys fielded in the same month. Reliability is evaluated both at the level of reported probabilities and through a model that relates expectations to socio-demographic variables. Test-retest correlations of survival probabilities are between 0.5 and 0.7, similar to subjective well-being. Only 20% of probabilities are equal across surveys, but up to 61–77% are consistent once we account for rounding. Both scales perform similarly in terms of response rates, internal consistency and fifty-fifty answers. Models that analyze all probabilities jointly reveal similar associations between most covariates and the hazard of death in test and retest datasets. Moreover, expectations are persistent at the level of the individual and this unobserved heterogeneity is strongly correlated across surveys (r ≈  0.8-0.9). Finally, we use a calibrated life cycle model to map survival expectations into wealth and labor supply. Wealth accumulation is sensitive to expectations and correcting for rounding substantially improves reliability of simulated wealth profiles. Taken together this evidence suggests that the two elicitation scales yield reliable measures of expectations, especially when aggregated into individual-level subjective survival curves.

KW - subjective expectations

KW - test-retest reliability

KW - life cycle model

KW - rounding

U2 - 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.06.018

DO - 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.06.018

M3 - Article

VL - 165

SP - 136

EP - 156

JO - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

JF - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

SN - 0167-2681

ER -