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Complexity in choice experiments: choice of the status quo alternative and implications for welfare measurement

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Author Info

  • Boxall, Peter
  • Adamowicz, W.L.
  • Moon, Amanda

Abstract

We examine the propensity of respondents to choose the status quo (SQ) or current situation alternative as a function of complexity in two separate state-of-the-world choice experiments. Complexity in each choice set was characterized as the number of single and multiple changes in levels of attributes from the current situation and the order of the choice task in the sequence of multiple tasks provided to respondents. We show that increasing complexity leads to increased choice of the SQ and that a respondent’s age and level of education also influenced this choice. We outline the effects of the alternate approaches for incorporating the SQ into welfare measurement. These findings have implications for the design of stated preference experiments, examining passive use values and for empirical analysis leading to welfare measurement.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/161986
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:161986

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Postal: AARES Central Office Manager, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra ACT 0200
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Related research

Keywords: choice experiments; status quo; welfare measurement; Consumer/Household Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

References

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  1. Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
  2. Beenstock, Michael & Goldin, Ephraim & Haitovsky, Yoel, 1998. "Response bias in a conjoint analysis of power outages," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 135-156, April.
  3. John Beshears & James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2008. "How are Preferences Revealed?," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2466, Yale School of Management.
  4. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-19, November.
  5. Hartman, Raymond S. & Donae, Michael J. & Woo, Chi-Keung, 1990. "Status quo bias in the measurement of value of service," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 197-214, July.
  6. Jordan J. Louviere & Towhidul Islam & Nada Wasi & Deborah Street & Leonie Burgess, 2008. "Designing Discrete Choice Experiments: Do Optimal Designs Come at a Price?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 360-375, 03.
  7. DeShazo, J. R. & Fermo, German, 2002. "Designing Choice Sets for Stated Preference Methods: The Effects of Complexity on Choice Consistency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, July.
  8. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1992. " Status-Quo and Omission Biases," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 49-61, February.
  9. Dhar, Ravi, 1997. " Consumer Preference for a No-Choice Option," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 215-31, September.
  10. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  11. Marisa J. Mazzotta & James J. Opaluch, 1995. "Decision Making When Choices Are Complex: A Test of Heiner's Hypothesis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 500-515.
  12. Roger H. von Haefen & D. Matthew Massey & Wiktor L. Adamowicz, 2005. "Serial Nonparticipation in Repeated Discrete Choice Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1061-1076.
  13. David Hensher & William Greene, 2003. "The Mixed Logit model: The state of practice," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 133-176, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dale Whittington & Vic Adamowicz, 2010. "The Use of Hypothetical Baselines in Stated Preference Surveys," EEPSEA Special and Technical Paper sp201009s1, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Sep 2010.
  2. Lindhjem, Henrik & Navrud, Stale, 2011. "Using Internet in Stated Preference Surveys: A Review and Comparison of Survey Modes," MPRA Paper 35633, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Thiene, Mara & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & De Salvo, Maria, 2012. "Scale and taste heterogeneity for forest biodiversity: Models of serial nonparticipation and their effects," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 355-369.
  4. Rogers, Abbie A., 2012. "Conservation values and management preferences for the Ningaloo Marine Park: a discrete choice experiment," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124431, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  5. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2014. "Valuation framing and attribute scope variation in a choice experiment to asses the impacts of changing land use from agriculture to mining," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia 165888, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  6. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette Bredahl JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The case for offshore wind farms, artificial reefs and sustainable tourism in the French Mediterranean," Working Papers 12-11, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Apr 2012.
  7. Rhona Barr & Susana Mourato, 2012. "Investigating fishers’ preferences for the design of marine Payments for Environmental Services schemes," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 101, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  8. Glenk, Klaus & Hall, Clare & Liebe, Ulf & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2012. "Preferences of Scotch malt whisky consumers for changes in pesticide use and origin of barley," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 719-731.
  9. Bruno Lanz & Allan Provins, 2012. "Do status quo choices reflect preferences? Evidence from a discrete choice experiment in the context of water utilities' investment planning," CEPE Working paper series 12-87, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  10. Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl & Lundhede, Thomas Hedemark & Martinsen, Louise & Hasler, Berit & Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark, 2011. "Embedding effects in choice experiment valuations of environmental preservation projects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1170-1177, April.
  11. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2010. "Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef," Research Reports 107583, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
  12. Dan Marsh & Lena Mkwara & Riccardo Scarpa, 2011. "Do Respondents’ Perceptions of the Status Quo Matter in Non-Market Valuation with Choice Experiments? An Application to New Zealand Freshwater Streams," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1593-1615, September.
  13. Jill Windle & John Rolfe, 2010. "Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 1084, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  14. Shahnawaz Karim & Minsoo Lee & Christopher Gan, 2011. "Price Effects of Monetary Policy: The Case of a Small Open Economy of New Zealand," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(3), pages 253-272, December.
  15. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette BREDAHL JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The Multi-faceted Nature of Preferences for Offshore Wind Farm Siting," Working Papers 12-22, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jul 2012.

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