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Modelling heterogeneity in response behaviour towards a sequence of discrete choice questions: a probabilistic decision process model

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  • McNair, Ben J.
  • Heshner, David A.
  • Bennett, Jeffrey W.

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence in the non-market valuation literature suggesting that responses to a sequence of discrete choice questions tend to violate the assumptions typically made by analysts regarding independence of responses and stability of preferences. Decision processes (or heuristics) such as value learning and strategic misrepresentation have been offered as explanations for these results. While a few studies have tested these heuristics as competing hypotheses, none has investigated the possibility that each explains the response behaviour of a subgroup of the population. In this paper, we make a contribution towards addressing this research gap by presenting a probabilistic decision process model designed to estimate the proportion of respondents employing defined heuristics. We demonstrate the model on binary and multinomial choice data sources and find three distinct types of response behaviour. The results suggest that accounting for heterogeneity in response behaviour may be a better way forward than attempting to identify a single heuristic to explain the behaviour of all respondents.

Suggested Citation

  • McNair, Ben J. & Heshner, David A. & Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2011. "Modelling heterogeneity in response behaviour towards a sequence of discrete choice questions: a probabilistic decision process model," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100585, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare11:100585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McNair, Ben J. & Bennett, Jeff & Hensher, David A. & Rose, John M., 2011. "Households' willingness to pay for overhead-to-underground conversion of electricity distribution networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2560-2567, May.
    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.
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    4. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Hensher, 2014. "Attribute processing as a behavioural strategy in choice making," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 12, pages 268-289 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Petrolia, Daniel & Interis, Matthew & Hwang, Joonghyun, 2015. "Single-Choice, Repeated-Choice, and Best-Worst Elicitation Formats: Do Results Differ and by How Much?," Working Papers 212479, Mississippi State University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    3. Anna Bartczak & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2012. "Valuing the chances of survival of two distinct Eurasian lynx populations in Poland – do people want to keep doors open?," Working Papers 2012-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Balbontin, Camila & Hensher, David A. & Collins, Andrew T., 2017. "Integrating attribute non-attendance and value learning with risk attitudes and perceptual conditioning," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 172-191.
    5. repec:kap:enreec:v:69:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0083-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David Hensher & Andrew Collins & William Greene, 2013. "Accounting for attribute non-attendance and common-metric aggregation in a probabilistic decision process mixed multinomial logit model: a warning on potential confounding," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 1003-1020, September.
    7. Thiene, Mara & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & De Salvo, Maria, 2012. "Scale and taste heterogeneity for forest biodiversity: Models of serial nonparticipation and their effects," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 355-369.
    8. repec:eee:transe:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:160-177 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Wiktor L. Adamowicz & Klaus Glenk & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Choice modelling research in environmental and resource economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 27, pages 661-674 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Campbell, Danny & Boeri, Marco & Doherty, Edel & George Hutchinson, W., 2015. "Learning, fatigue and preference formation in discrete choice experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 345-363.
    11. Leong, Waiyan & Hensher, David A., 2012. "Embedding multiple heuristics into choice models: An exploratory analysis," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 131-144.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Choice experiment; decision process; ordering effects; strategic response; willingness to pay; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C25; L94; Q51;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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