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A parsimonious, stacked latent-class methodology for predicting behavioral heterogeneity in terms of life-constraint heterogeneity

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  • Morey, Edward
  • Thiene, Mara

Abstract

Our conjecture is that for many recreational activities a significant amount of the variation in the sites visited can be explained, and predicted, by variation in life constraints such as kids, BMI (body-mass index) fitness, skill, and health. The objective is to develop a parsimonious method for identifying behavioral heterogeneity caused by life-constraint heterogeneity and separating it from that caused by preference heterogeneity. We estimate, for two different recreational activities, with two independent data sets, how much behavioral heterogeneity can be attributed to life-constraint heterogeneity. We develop and estimate a stacked latent-class approach to life constraints, assuming individuals have many correlated life constraints. First, at the bottom of the stack, a latent-class life-constraint model is specified and estimated; then life-constraint class becomes a covariate in a behavioral latent-class model of participation and site selection. We find, with both simple statistics and behavioral models, that life-constraint classes explain a significant amount of the observed behavioral heterogeneity. Prediction is a critical reason to distinguish the influence of current constraints from the influence of current preferences: it is easy to directly observe life-constraint levels. Stacked latent-class models have many potential applications, besides ours.

Suggested Citation

  • Morey, Edward & Thiene, Mara, 2012. "A parsimonious, stacked latent-class methodology for predicting behavioral heterogeneity in terms of life-constraint heterogeneity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 130-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:74:y:2012:i:c:p:130-144 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.12.005
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    1. repec:eee:energy:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:313-326 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Thiene, Mara & Swait, Joffre & Scarpa, Riccardo, 2017. "Choice set formation for outdoor destinations: The role of motivations and preference discrimination in site selection for the management of public expenditures on protected areas," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, pages 152-173.
    3. Martina Menon & Federico Perali & Marcella Veronesi, 2014. "Recovering Individual Preferences for Non-Market Goods: A Collective Travel-Cost Model," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(2), pages 438-457.
    4. Dellaert, B.G.C. & Swait, J. & Adamowicz, W.L. & Arentze, T.A. & Bruch, E.E. & Cherchi, E. & Chorus, C.G. & Donkers, A.C.D. & Feinberg, F.M. & Marley, A.A.J. & Salisbury, L.C., 2017. "Individuals' Decisions in the Presence of Multiple Goals," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2017-007-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. 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, pages 355-369.
    6. Mara Thiene & Marco Boeri & Caspar Chorus, 2012. "Random Regret Minimization: Exploration of a New Choice Model for Environmental and Resource Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 413-429.

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