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Skew and attribute non-attendance within the Bayesian mixed logit model

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  • Balcombe, Kelvin
  • Burton, Michael
  • Rigby, Dan

Abstract

We investigate non-attendance to choice set attributes and the accommodation of preference heterogeneity within the mixed logit model. We propose a generalisation of the mixed logit enabling the degree of skew of marginal utility distributions to be estimated. The implementation is Bayesian with the marginal likelihood used as an arbiter of model performance. We find strong evidence of skew in the distributions of marginal utilities for most attributes. Models incorporating skew are preferred in all cases. The irrelevance of an attribute to significant numbers of respondents is a possible cause of such skew. We test alternative empirical accommodations of self-reported attribute non-attendance (ANA) and continue to find strong evidence of skew in the distributions of marginal utilities even having accounted for ANA. We find that, contrary to some recent findings, respondents who report having ignored an attribute typically do indeed have a zero marginal utility for that attribute.

Suggested Citation

  • Balcombe, Kelvin & Burton, Michael & Rigby, Dan, 2011. "Skew and attribute non-attendance within the Bayesian mixed logit model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 446-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:62:y:2011:i:3:p:446-461 DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2011.04.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Riccardo Scarpa & John M. Rose, 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), pages 253-282, September.
    2. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Francesco Marangon, 2008. "Using Flexible Taste Distributions to Value Collective Reputation for Environmentally Friendly Production Methods," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(2), pages 145-162, June.
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    4. Michael Burton & Dan Rigby & Trevor Young, 2001. "Consumer attitudes to genetically modified organisms in food in the UK," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 479-498, December.
    5. David Hensher & John Rose & William Greene, 2005. "The implications on willingness to pay of respondents ignoring specific attributes," Transportation, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 203-222, May.
    6. Dan Rigby & Kelvin Balcombe & Michael Burton, 2009. "Mixed Logit Model Performance and Distributional Assumptions: Preferences and GM foods," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 279-295, March.
    7. Kjartan Sælensminde, 2001. "Inconsistent choices in Stated Choice data;Use of the logit scaling approach to handle resulting variance increases," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 269-296, August.
    8. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kelvin Balcombe & Michail Bitzios & Iain Fraser & Janet Haddock-Fraser, 2014. "Using Attribute Importance Rankings Within Discrete Choice Experiments: An Application to Valuing Bread Attributes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 446-462, June.
    2. Marit E. Kragt, 2013. "Stated and Inferred Attribute Attendance Models: A Comparison with Environmental Choice Experiments," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 719-736, September.
    3. Ariane Kehlbacher & Kelvin Balcombe & Richard Bennett, 2013. "Stated Attribute Non-attendance in Successive Choice Experiments," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 693-706, September.
    4. Nguyen, Thanh Cong & Robinson, Jackie & Whitty, Jennifer A. & Kaneko, Shinji & Nguyen, The Chinh, 2015. "Attribute non-attendance in discrete choice experiments: A case study in a developing country," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 22-33.
    5. Yuan, Yuan & You, Wen & Boyle, Kevin J., 2015. "A guide to heterogeneity features captured by parametric and nonparametric mixing distributions for the mixed logit model," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205733, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Daniel A. Brent & Lata Gangadharan & Anke Leroux & Paul A. Raschky, 2016. "Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is," Monash Economics Working Papers 42-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Huang, Pei & McCarl, Bruce A., 2014. "Estimating Decadal Climate Variability Effects on Crop Yields: A Bayesian Hierarchical Approach," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169828, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Chavez, Daniel & Palma, Marco & Collart, Alba J., 2016. "Eye Tracking to Model Attribute Attendance," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230011, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    9. Breeze, T.D. & Bailey, A.P. & Potts, S.G. & Balcombe, K.G., 2015. "A stated preference valuation of the non-market benefits of pollination services in the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 76-85.
    10. Caputo, Vincenzina & Nayga, M. Rodolfo Jr. & Sacchi, Giovanna & Scarpa, Riccardo, 2016. "Attribute non-attendance or attribute-level non-attendance? A choice experiment application on extra virgin olive oil," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236035, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Kelvin Balcombe & Iain Fraser & Eugene McSorley, 2015. "Visual Attention and Attribute Attendance in Multi‐Attribute Choice Experiments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 447-467, April.
    12. Abbie A. Rogers, 2013. "Public and Expert Preference Divergence: Evidence from a Choice Experiment of Marine Reserves in Australia," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(2), pages 346-370.
    13. Stephane Hess & David Hensher, 2013. "Making use of respondent reported processing information to understand attribute importance: a latent variable scaling approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 397-412, February.
    14. Richard Yao & Riccardo Scarpa & John Rose & James Turner, 2015. "Experimental Design Criteria and Their Behavioural Efficiency: An Evaluation in the Field," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(3), pages 433-455, November.
    15. Mohammed Alemu & Morten Mørkbak & Søren Olsen & Carsten Jensen, 2013. "Attending to the Reasons for Attribute Non-attendance in Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(3), pages 333-359, March.
    16. Daniel A. Brent & Lata Gangadharan & Anke Leroux & Paul A. Raschky, 2014. "Putting One's Money Where One's Mouth is: Increasing Saliency in the Field," Monash Economics Working Papers 43-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    17. Mara Thiene & Riccardo Scarpa & Jordan Louviere, 2015. "Addressing Preference Heterogeneity, Multiple Scales and Attribute Attendance with a Correlated Finite Mixing Model of Tap Water Choice," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(3), pages 637-656, November.
    18. Pluske, Jo & Burton, Michael & Rigby, Dan & Vercoe, Phil, 2013. "Cattle breeding in Northern Australia: Revealing how consumers react to alternative technologies," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 21.
    19. Mørkbak, Morten Raun & Olsen, Søren Bøye & Campbell, Danny, 2014. "Behavioral implications of providing real incentives in stated choice experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 102-116.
    20. Daniel A. Brent & Lata Gangadharan & Allison Lassiter & Anke Leroux & Paul A. Raschky, 2016. "Valuing Environmental Services Provided by LocalStormwater Management," Monash Economics Working Papers 35-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    21. Weller, Priska & Oehlmann, Malte & Mariel, Petr & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2014. "Stated and inferred attribute non-attendance in a design of designs approach," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 43-56.

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