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Shift of reference point and implications on behavioral reaction to gains and losses

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  • Lorenzo Masiero

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  • David Hensher

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Abstract

It is widely recognized that individual decision making is subject to the evaluation of gains and losses around a reference point. The estimation of discrete choice models increasingly use data from stated choice experiments which are pivoted around a reference alternative. However, to date, the specification of a reference alternative in transport studies is fixed, whereas it is common to observe individuals adjusting their preferences according to a change in their reference point. This paper focuses on individual reactions, in a freight choice context, to a negative change in the reference alternative values, identifying the behavioural implications in terms of loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity. The results show a significant adjustment in the valuation of gains and losses around a shifted reference alternative. In particular, we find an average increase in loss aversion for cost and time attributes, and a substantial decrease for punctuality. These findings are translated to significant differences in the willingness to pay and willingness to accept measures, providing supporting evidence of respondents’ behavioural reaction.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Masiero & David Hensher, 2011. "Shift of reference point and implications on behavioral reaction to gains and losses," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 249-271, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:38:y:2011:i:2:p:249-271
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-010-9302-0
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11116-010-9302-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Feo-Valero, María & Arencibia, Ana Isabel & Román, Concepción, 2016. "Analyzing discrepancies between willingness to pay and willingness to accept for freight transport attributes," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 151-164.
    2. McNair, Ben J. & Bennett, Jeff & Hensher, David A., 2011. "A comparison of responses to single and repeated discrete choice questions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 554-571, September.
    3. repec:eme:ijmpps:ijm-02-2016-0041 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:transe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:18-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stathopoulos, Amanda & Hess, Stephane, 2012. "Revisiting reference point formation, gains–losses asymmetry and non-linear sensitivities with an emphasis on attribute specific treatment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1673-1689.
    6. Stephane Hess & Andrew Daly (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of Choice Modelling," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14820.
    7. Mesa-Arango, Rodrigo & Ukkusuri, Satish V., 2014. "Attributes driving the selection of trucking services and the quantification of the shipper’s willingness to pay," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 142-158.
    8. Juan de Dios Ortúzar & Elisabetta Cherchi & Luis Ignacio Rizzi, 2014. "Transport research needs," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 29, pages 688-698 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Stephane Hess & Amanda Stathopoulos & Andrew Daly, 2012. "Allowing for heterogeneous decision rules in discrete choice models: an approach and four case studies," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 565-591, May.
    10. Nicolas Sirven & Thomas Barnay, 2017. "Expectations, loss aversion and retirement decisions in the context of the 2009 crisis in Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 25-44, April.
    11. Amanda Stathopoulos & Stephane Hess, 2011. "Referencing, Gains-Losses Asymmetry And Non-Linear Sensitivities In Commuter Decisions: One Size Does Not Fit All!," Working Papers 0511, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Willingness to pay; Gains and losses; Freight choice; Reference alternative;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General

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