The role of regret minimisation in lifestyle choices affecting the risk of coronary heart disease
This paper introduces the discrete choice model-paradigm of Random Regret Minimisation (RRM) to the field of health economics. The RRM is a regret-based model that explores a driver of choice different from the traditional utility-based Random Utility Maximisation (RUM). The RRM approach is based on the idea that, when choosing, individuals aim to minimise their regret–regret being defined as what one experiences when a non-chosen alternative in a choice set performs better than a chosen one in relation to one or more attributes. Analysing data from a discrete choice experiment on diet, physical activity and risk of a fatal heart attack in the next ten years administered to a sample of the Northern Ireland population, we find that the combined use of RUM and RRM models offer additional information, providing useful behavioural insights for better informed policy appraisal.
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