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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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  • McNair, Ben J.
  • Heshner, David A.
  • Bennett, Jeffrey W.

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia with number 100585.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aare11:100585

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Related research

Keywords: Choice experiment; decision process; ordering effects; strategic response; willingness to pay; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C25; L94; Q51;

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  20. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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