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Preferences, rational choices and economic valuation: Some empirical tests

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  • Rulleau, Bénédicte
  • Dachary-Bernard, Jeanne

Abstract

This study focuses on the respondent rationality hypothesis, usually assumed to be true in Discrete Choice Experiments. We examine lexicographic preferences, the influence of consistency, and the role of task complexity in the individual choice process. To this end, we carry out rationality tests in a survey on forest recreation. Results show that choice set orderings do not impact on choice probability. If a violation of continuity or consistency axioms does impact on choice probability, the Willingness-To-Pay estimators calculated using the total sample and the sub-samples of “irrational” respondents are not significantly different. This serves as a basis for discussing the traditional concept of rationality.

Suggested Citation

  • Rulleau, Bénédicte & Dachary-Bernard, Jeanne, 2012. "Preferences, rational choices and economic valuation: Some empirical tests," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 198-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:2:p:198-206
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kosenius, Anna-Kaisa, 2013. "Preference discontinuity in choice experiment: Determinants and implications," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 138-145.
    2. Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Romain Craste & Bengt Kriström & Pere Riera, 2014. "Non-market valuation in France: An overview of the research activity," Working Papers hal-01087365, HAL.
    3. Pepermans, Guido, 2014. "Valuing smart meters," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 280-294.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Individual preferences; Discrete choice experiment; Rationality tests; Forest recreation;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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