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Cost thresholds, cut-offs and sensitivities in stated choice analysis: Identification and implications

  • Campbell, Danny
  • Hensher, David A.
  • Scarpa, Riccardo

Within the discrete choice literature, there is growing recognition that some respondents do not process all attributes when evaluating their choice outcomes. Worryingly, the cost attribute is often among those attributes that are likely to be ignored by respondents. We use probabilistic decision process models (similar in form to latent class models, but where we define the classes to describe specific heuristics) to facilitate situations where respondents adopt cost thresholds and cut-offs. We further develop this model to address the potential confounding between preference heterogeneity and processing heterogeneity by simultaneously allowing for a segmentation of respondents based on their sensitivities to cost. Results, based on an empirical dataset on the existence value of rare fish species in Ireland, provide further confirmation that a share of respondents did not attended to cost. Importantly, however, when heterogeneity to cost levels is accounted for the inferred incidence of complete non-attendance is markedly lower, to the extent that when cost thresholds and cut-offs are also accommodated it almost disappears. This modelling approach leads to significant gains in model fit and has important implications for welfare analysis.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 396-411

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Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:396-411
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

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  1. William H. Greene & David A. Hensher, 2013. "Revealing additional dimensions of preference heterogeneity in a latent class mixed multinomial logit model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(14), pages 1897-1902, May.
  2. Fredrik Carlsson & Peter Martinsson, 2008. "How Much is Too Much?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 165-176, June.
  3. Scarpa, Riccardo & Thiene, Mara & Hensher, David A., 2009. "Monitoring Choice Task Attribute Attendance In Non-Market Valuation Of Multiple Park Management Services: Does It Matter?," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50830, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Danny Campbell & David A. Hensher & Riccardo Scarpa, 2011. "Non-attendance to attributes in environmental choice analysis: a latent class specification," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(8), pages 1061-1076, December.
  5. Mika Rekola, 2003. "Lexicographic Preferences in Contingent Valuation: A Theoretical Framework with Illustrations," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 277-291.
  6. DeShazo, J. R. & Fermo, German, 2002. "Designing Choice Sets for Stated Preference Methods: The Effects of Complexity on Choice Consistency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, July.
  7. Hess, Stephane & Hensher, David A., 2010. "Using conditioning on observed choices to retrieve individual-specific attribute processing strategies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 781-790, July.
  8. Fredrik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Elina Lampi, 2009. "Dealing with ignored attributes in choice experiments on valuation of Sweden's environmental quality objectives," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-089, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  9. David Hensher & John Rose & William Greene, 2012. "Inferring attribute non-attendance from stated choice data: implications for willingness to pay estimates and a warning for stated choice experiment design," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 235-245, March.
  10. Danny Campbell & W. Hutchinson & Riccardo Scarpa, 2008. "Incorporating Discontinuous Preferences into the Analysis of Discrete Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 401-417, November.
  11. Hanley, Nick & Adamowicz, Wiktor & Wright, Robert E., 2005. "Price vector effects in choice experiments: an empirical test," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 227-234, October.
  12. Cantillo, Víctor & Heydecker, Benjamin & de Dios Ortúzar, Juan, 2006. "A discrete choice model incorporating thresholds for perception in attribute values," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 807-825, November.
  13. Glenn Bush & Sergio Colombo & Nick Hanley, 2009. "Should all Choices Count? Using the Cut-Offs Approach to Edit Responses in a Choice Experiment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 397-414, November.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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, 05.
  17. Morten Mørkbak & Tove Christensen & Dorte Gyrd-Hansen, 2010. "Choke Price Bias in Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 537-551, April.
  18. Saelensminde, Kjartan, 2006. "Causes and consequences of lexicographic choices in stated choice studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 331-340, September.
  19. Swait, Joffre, 2001. "A non-compensatory choice model incorporating attribute cutoffs," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 903-928, November.
  20. Bart Vermeulen & Peter Goos & Riccardo Scarpa & Martina Vandebroek, 2011. "Bayesian Conjoint Choice Designs for Measuring Willingness to Pay," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(1), pages 129-149, January.
  21. Puckett, Sean M. & Hensher, David A., 2008. "The role of attribute processing strategies in estimating the preferences of road freight stakeholders," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 379-395, May.
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