Optimism, pessimism and the compensating income variation of cardiovascular disease: a two-tiered quality of life stochastic frontier model

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2007


Self-reported measures of life satisfaction may be biased by optimistic or pessimistic dispositions of respondents. In this paper we view life satisfaction as stochastic and estimate a two-tiered quality of life stochastic frontier model to account for upward and downward biases in self-reported quality of life questions. Using the British Household Panel Survey 1995, we interpret the two one-sided errors to represent optimism and pessimism, respectively. The results suggest that the realistic values of life satisfaction are closer to the pessimistic values than to the optimistic ones. It is further found that men are relatively more optimistic and less pessimistic than women. Cardiovascular disease makes people both less optimistic and less pessimistic. The results are used to calculate the compensating income variation (CIV) of cardiovascular disease. It is found that the CIV is substantial.

Published in

Social Science and Medicine


Volume: 65 (7):1479-1489



- http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.05.009


Previously 'In press, corrected proof'

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