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The implications on willingness to pay of a stochastic treatment of attribute processing in stated choice studies


  • Hensher, David A.
  • Rose, John
  • Bertoia, Tony


Individuals processing the information in a stated choice experiment are asked to evaluate a set of attributes offered and to choose their most preferred alternative. It has always been thought that some attributes are not attended to in this process for many reasons, including a coping strategy to handle their perception of the complexity of the choice task. However analysts proceed, with rare exception, to estimate discrete choice models as if all attributes have influenced the outcome to some degree. In this paper we investigate the implications of bounding the attribute processing task by attribute elimination through not attending to one or more attributes. Using a sample of car non-commuters in Sydney we estimate a mixed logit model in which all attributes are assumed to be attended to, and models which assume that certain attribute(s) are not attended to, based on supplementary information provided by respondents. The supplementary information is accounted for in a deterministic and a stochastic way; the latter in recognition of the analyst's lack of full information on why a specific attribute processing (AP) strategy was adopted by each sampled individual. We compare the value of travel time savings distribution under alternative attribute processing regimes. As expected, there are noticeable variations in the mean and standard deviation willingness to pay (WTP) across the three AP strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hensher, David A. & Rose, John & Bertoia, Tony, 2007. "The implications on willingness to pay of a stochastic treatment of attribute processing in stated choice studies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 73-89, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transe:v:43:y:2007:i:2:p:73-89

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    Cited by:

    1. William Henry Kaye-Blake & Walt L. Abell & Eva Zellman, 2009. "Respondents' ignoring of attribute information in a choice modelling survey," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), pages 547-564, October.
    2. Espinosa, Maria & Rodriguez, Macario & Madureira, Livia Maria Costa & Santos, Jose Lima & Gomez y Paloma, Sergio, 2014. "Are models and respondents talking the same language: evidence from stated and inferred discontinuous preferences in a choice experiment valuing public goods?," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182668, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Soora Rasouli & Harry Timmermans, 2016. "Influence of Social Networks on Latent Choice of Electric Cars: A Mixed Logit Specification Using Experimental Design Data," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 99-130, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Collins, Andrew T. & Hess, Stephane & Rose, John M., 2013. "Choice modelling with search and sort data from an interactive choice experiment," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 36-45.
    8. Caputo, Vincenzina & Loo, Ellen J. Van & Scarpa, Riccardo & Nayga, Rodolfo M. Jr & Verbeke, Wim, 2014. "“Using Experiments to Address Attribute Non-attendance in Consumer Food Choices”," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 177173, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Danny Campbell & W. Hutchinson & Riccardo Scarpa, 2008. "Incorporating Discontinuous Preferences into the Analysis of Discrete Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 401-417, November.
    10. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John & Brouwer, Roy, 2009. "Public values for improved water security for domestic and environmental use," Research Reports 94818, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
    11. 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.
    12. Andrew Collins & John Rose & Stephane Hess, 2012. "Interactive stated choice surveys: a study of air travel behaviour," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 55-79, January.
    13. David Hensher, 2014. "Attribute processing as a behavioural strategy in choice making," Chapters, in: Stephane Hess & Andrew Daly (ed.), Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 12, pages 268-289, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Caspar G Chorus & John M Rose & David A Hensher, 2013. "Regret Minimization or Utility Maximization: It Depends on the Attribute," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 40(1), pages 154-169, February.
    15. Balbontin, Camila & Hensher, David A., 2021. "Understanding business location decision making for transport planning: An investigation of the role of process rules in identifying influences on firm location," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    16. Zhu, Wei & Timmermans, Harry, 2010. "Modeling simplifying information processing strategies in conjoint experiments," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 764-780, July.
    17. Collins, Andrew T. & Rose, John M. & Hensher, David A., 2013. "Specification issues in a generalised random parameters attribute nonattendance model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 234-253.
    18. 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.
    19. 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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