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Modelling Heterogeneity in Response Behaviour Towards a Sequence of Discrete Choice Questions: A Probabilistic Decision Process Model

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  • Ben McNair

    ()

  • David Hensher
  • Jeff Bennett

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence in the non-market valuation literature suggesting that responses to a sequence of discrete choice questions tend to violate the assumptions typically made by analysts regarding independence of responses and stability of preferences. Decision processes (or heuristics) such as value learning and strategic misrepresentation have been offered as explanations for these results. While a few studies have tested these heuristics as competing hypotheses, none has investigated the possibility that each explains the response behaviour of a subgroup of the population. In this paper, we make a contribution towards addressing this research gap by presenting a probabilistic decision process model designed to estimate the proportion of respondents employing defined heuristics. We demonstrate the model on binary and multinomial choice data sources and find three distinct types of response behaviour. The results suggest that accounting for heterogeneity in response behaviour may be a better way forward than attempting to identify a single heuristic to explain the behaviour of all respondents.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-011-9514-6
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 599-616

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:51:y:2012:i:4:p:599-616

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Choice experiment; Decision process; Ordering effects; Strategic response; Willingness to pay; C25; L94; Q51;

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References

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  1. Caussade, Sebastián & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios & Rizzi, Luis I. & Hensher, David A., 2005. "Assessing the influence of design dimensions on stated choice experiment estimates," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 621-640, August.
  2. DeShazo, J. R., 2002. "Designing Transactions without Framing Effects in Iterative Question Formats," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 360-385, May.
  3. Herriges, Joseph A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1996. "Starting Point Bias in Dichotomous Choice Valuation with Follow-Up Questioning," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 112-131, January.
  4. Carson, Katherine Silz & Chilton, Susan M. & Hutchinson, W. George, 2009. "Necessary conditions for demand revelation in double referenda," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 219-225, March.
  5. Thomas P. Holmes & Kevin J. Boyle, 2005. "Dynamic Learning and Context-Dependence in Sequential, Attribute-Based, Stated-Preference Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
  6. Kevin J. Boyle & Richard C. Bishop & Michael P. Welsh, 1985. "Starting Point Bias in Contingent Valuation Bidding Games," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 188-194.
  7. McNair, Ben J. & Bennett, Jeff & Hensher, David A., 2010. "A comparison of responses to single and repeated discrete choice questions," MPRA Paper 23163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Scarpa, Riccardo & Rose, John M., 2008. "Design efficiency for non-market valuation with choice modelling: how to measure it, what to report and why," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(3), September.
  9. Richard Carson & Theodore Groves, 2007. "Incentive and informational properties of preference questions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 181-210, May.
  10. 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.
  11. Day, Brett & Pinto Prades, Jose-Luis, 2010. "Ordering anomalies in choice experiments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 271-285, May.
  12. McNair, Ben J. & Bennett, Jeff & Hensher, David A. & Rose, John M., 2011. "Households' willingness to pay for overhead-to-underground conversion of electricity distribution networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2560-2567, May.
  13. Louviere, Jordan J & Hensher, David A, 1983. " Using Discrete Choice Models with Experimental Design Data to Forecast Consumer Demand for a Unique Cultural Event," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 348-61, December.
  14. Riccardo Scarpa & Timothy J. Gilbride & Danny Campbell & David A. Hensher, 2009. "Modelling attribute non-attendance in choice experiments for rural landscape valuation," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 36(2), pages 151-174, June.
  15. Bateman, Ian J. & Burgess, Diane & Hutchinson, W. George & Matthews, David I., 2008. "Learning design contingent valuation (LDCV): NOAA guidelines, preference learning and coherent arbitrariness," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 127-141, March.
  16. Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J. & Hanemann, Michael W., 2008. "Emotions and decision rules in discrete choice experiments for valuing health care programmes for the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 753-769, May.
  17. Cameron Trudy Ann & Quiggin John, 1994. "Estimation Using Contingent Valuation Data from a Dichotomous Choice with Follow-Up Questionnaire," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 218-234, November.
  18. David Hensher & William Greene, 2010. "Non-attendance and dual processing of common-metric attributes in choice analysis: a latent class specification," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 413-426, October.
  19. Carlsson, Fredrik & Martinsson, Peter, 2006. "How much is too much? - An investigation of the effect of the number of choice sets, starting point and the choice of bid vectors in choice experiments," Working Papers in Economics 191, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  20. Ladenburg, Jacob & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2008. "Gender-specific starting point bias in choice experiments: Evidence from an empirical study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 275-285, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Hensher & Andrew Collins & William Greene, 2013. "Accounting for attribute non-attendance and common-metric aggregation in a probabilistic decision process mixed multinomial logit model: a warning on potential confounding," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 1003-1020, September.
  2. Anna Bartczak & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2012. "Valuing the chances of survival of two distinct Eurasian lynx populations in Poland – do people want to keep doors open?," Working Papers 2012-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  3. Leong, Waiyan & Hensher, David A., 2012. "Embedding multiple heuristics into choice models: An exploratory analysis," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 131-144.
  4. 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.

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