Working Papers

Health Perceptions in Latin America

AUTHOR(s): Lora, Eduardo
PUBLISHED: December 2011
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor


This is the first study that uniformly analyzes health perceptions in all of Latin America and tests in a systematic way their relation to economic conditions at the country, income group and individual levels. The study uses three types of health self-assessment questions: i) health satisfaction; ii) health status on a scale of 0- 10; and iii) the EuroQol 5D instrument (EQ-5D), which asks about mobility, self- care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. The empirical analysis finds support for the hypothesis that cultural differences between countries prevent cross-national comparisons of health perceptions, but it does not find support for the widely held view that the same applies within countries, presumably because the poor are more tolerant of their health problems.

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