Why do Italian people rate their health worse than French people ? Exploring cross-country differentials of subjective health

Aline Desesquelles, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Viviana Egidi, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Antonio Salvatore, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

According to recent data, 75% of the French and 61% of the Italian adult population rate their health as good or very good. Differences in the populations’ structure regarding some characteristics that are linked with subjective health (“objective” health, age, socioeconomic status…) probably partly explain this differential (“Structural effect”) in. The link between those characteristics and self-rated health may also be different in the two countries (“Intensity effect”). We present the results of a comparative study based on the data of the French and the Italian National Health Surveys. We first examine how far differences in the wording of the self-rated health question and in the survey method contribute to the observed differential. We then evaluate the impact of the “structural” and the “intensity” effects to the worse self-rating in Italy. Finally, we determine if, when controlling for several individual characteristics, there remains an unexplained gap between the two populations.

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Presented in Session 48: Self-Assessed Health