IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v14y2005i3p307-322.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

'Irrational' stated preferences: a quantitative and qualitative investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Fernando San Miguel

    (Institución Futuro, Plaza del Palacio de Gorraiz, Navarra, Spain)

  • Mandy Ryan

    (Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

  • Mabelle Amaya-Amaya

    (Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

Abstract

Individuals' rationality has been a key issue long debated in Economics. While normative theories establish the way 'rational' consumers should behave, many empirical studies have documented numerous systematic violations of normative principles. This has led some to question the validity of classic economic models as an adequate approximation of individuals' real decision-making. This paper aims to shed more light on this debate. A stated preference choice experiment was set up to test rational choice properties. Attention was given to the extent to which satisfaction of such tests is related to both the complexity of the design, and subject characteristics. Quantitative and qualitative methods are applied. The majority of respondents passed the rationality tests. Satisfaction of the tests was sensitive to normatively irrelevant factors such as the complexity of the task and demographic characteristics. A significant proportion of those individuals who 'failed' seem to have reformulated the experiment in some way in their mental process. Implications for the design and analyses of future DCEs are discussed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando San Miguel & Mandy Ryan & Mabelle Amaya-Amaya, 2005. "'Irrational' stated preferences: a quantitative and qualitative investigation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 307-322.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:3:p:307-322
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.912
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.912
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simonson, Itamar, 1989. " Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 158-174, September.
    2. Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 751-785, July.
    3. F. Reed Johnson & Kristy E. Mathews, 2001. "Sources and Effects of Utility-Theoretic Inconsistency in Stated-Preference Surveys," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-1333.
    4. Ryan, Mandy & San Miguel, Fernando, 2000. "Testing for consistency in willingness to pay experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 305-317, June.
    5. Starmer, Chris, 1999. "Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 5-15, February.
    6. Smith, Vernon L, 1991. "Rational Choice: The Contrast between Economics and Psychology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 877-897, August.
    7. Earl, Peter E, 1990. "Economics and Psychology: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 718-755, September.
    8. Mandy Ryan & Fernando San Miguel, 2003. "Revisiting the axiom of completeness in health care," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 295-307.
    9. McFadden, Daniel, 1999. "Rationality for Economists?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 73-105, December.
    10. Johnson, F. Reed & Desvousges, William H., 1997. "Estimating Stated Preferences with Rated-Pair Data: Environmental, Health, and Employment Effects of Energy Programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 79-99, September.
    11. Norinder, Anna & Hjalte, Krister & Persson, Ulf, 2001. "Scope and scale insensitivities in a contingent valuation study of risk reductions," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 141-153, August.
    12. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Poe, Gregory L. & Ethier, Robert G. & Schulze, William D., 2002. "Alternative Non-market Value-Elicitation Methods: Are the Underlying Preferences the Same?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 391-425, November.
    13. Dolan, P. & Gudex, C. & Kind, P. & Williams, A., 1996. "Valuing health states: A comparison of methods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 209-231, April.
    14. Krabbe, Paul F. M. & Essink-Bot, Marie-Louise & Bonsel, Gouke J., 1997. "The comparability and reliability of five health-state valuation methods," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(11), pages 1641-1652, December.
    15. 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.
    16. de Palma, Andre & Myers, Gordon M & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y, 1994. "Rational Choice under an Imperfect Ability to Choose," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 419-440, June.
    17. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-595, September.
    18. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    19. Cam Donaldson & Phil Shackley & Mona Abdalla, 1997. "Using Willingness To Pay To Value Close Substitutes: Carrier Screening for Cystic Fibrosis Revisited," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 145-159.
    20. Marisa J. Mazzotta & James J. Opaluch, 1995. "Decision Making When Choices Are Complex: A Test of Heiner's Hypothesis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 500-515.
    21. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Experimental Economics from the Vantage-Point of Behavioural Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 23-34, February.
    22. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
    23. Sutherland, H. J. & Lockwood, G. A. & Minkin, S. & Tritchler, D. L. & Till, J. E. & Llewellyn-Thomas, H. A., 1989. "Measuring satisfaction with health care: A comparison of single with paired rating strategies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 53-58, January.
    24. Tara Maddala & Kathryn A. Phillips & F. Reed Johnson, 2003. "An experiment on simplifying conjoint analysis designs for measuring preferences," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(12), pages 1035-1047.
    25. Kjartan Sælensminde, 2002. "The Impact of Choice Inconsistencies in Stated Choice Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(4), pages 403-420, December.
    26. Foster, Vivien & Mourato, Susana, 2002. "Testing for Consistency in Contingent Ranking Experiments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 309-328, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ratcliffe, Julie & Bekker, Hilary L. & Dolan, Paul & Edlin, Richard, 2009. "Examining the attitudes and preferences of health care decision-makers in relation to access, equity and cost-effectiveness: A discrete choice experiment," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 45-57, April.
    2. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0818-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Emily Lancsar & Joffre Swait, 2014. "Reconceptualising the External Validity of Discrete Choice Experiments," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 32(10), pages 951-965, October.
    4. Emily Lancsar & Jordan Louviere, 2006. "Deleting 'irrational' responses from discrete choice experiments: a case of investigating or imposing preferences?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 797-811.
    5. Semra Özdemir & Ateesha F. Mohamed & F. Reed Johnson & A. Brett Hauber, 2010. "Who pays attention in stated-choice surveys?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 111-118.
    6. Campbell, Danny, 2007. "Combining mixed logit models and random effects models to identify the determinants of willingness to pay for rural landscape improvements," 81st Annual Conference, April 2-4, 2007, Reading University 7975, Agricultural Economics Society.
    7. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:1:p:118-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mehdi Ammi & Christine Peyron, 2016. "Heterogeneity in general practitioners’ preferences for quality improvement programs: a choice experiment and policy simulation in France," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.
    9. Karolin Becker & Peter Zweifel, 2005. "Cost Sharing in Health Insurance: An Instrument for Risk Selection?," SOI - Working Papers 0513, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    10. Michael Clark & Domino Determann & Stavros Petrou & Domenico Moro & Esther Bekker-Grob, 2014. "Discrete Choice Experiments in Health Economics: A Review of the Literature," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 32(9), pages 883-902, September.
    11. Mandy Ryan & Karen Gerard & Gillian Currie, 2012. "Using Discrete Choice Experiments in Health Economics," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 41 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Michela Tinelli & Mandy Ryan & Christine Bond, 2016. "What, who and when? Incorporating a discrete choice experiment into an economic evaluation," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, December.
    13. Mandy Ryan & Verity Watson & Vikki Entwistle, 2009. "Rationalising the 'irrational': a think aloud study of discrete choice experiment responses," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 321-336.
    14. Emily Lancsar & Peter Burge, 2014. "Choice modelling research in health economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 28, pages 675-687 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J. & Hanemann, Michael W., 2008. "Emotions and decision rules in discrete choice experiments for valuing health care programmes for the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 753-769, May.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:3:p:307-322. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.