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Ordering effects and strategic response in discrete choice experiments

  • Scheufele, Gabriela
  • Bennett, Jeffrey W.

This study explores ordering effects and response strategies in repeated binary discrete choice experiments (DCE). Mechanism design theory and empirical evidence suggest that repeated choice tasks per respondent introduce strategic behavior. We find evidence that the order in which choice sets are presented to respondents may provide strategic opportunities that affect choice decisions (‘strategic response’). The findings propose that the ‘strategic response’ does not follow strong cost-minimization but other strategies such as weak cost-minimization or good deal/ bad deal heuristics. Evidence further suggests that participants, as they answer more choice questions, not only make more accurate choices (‘institutional learning’) but may also become increasingly aware of and learn to take advantage of the order in which choice sets are presented to them (‘strategic learning’).

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Paper provided by Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub in its series Research Reports with number 107743.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:107743
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  1. Moulin, Herve, 1994. "Social choice," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1091-1125 Elsevier.
  2. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1j6814b3, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Scheufele, Gabriela & Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2010. "Effects of alternative elicitation formats in discrete choice experiments," Research Reports 94948, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
  4. Ferrini, Silvia & Scarpa, Riccardo, 2007. "Designs with a priori information for nonmarket valuation with choice experiments: A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 342-363, May.
  5. Carson, Richard T & Groves, Theodore, 2010. "Incentive and Information Properties of Preference Questions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt88d8644g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. McNair, Ben J. & Bennett, Jeffrey W. & Hensher, David A., 2010. "Strategic response to a sequence of discrete choice questions," 2010 Conference (54th), February 10-12, 2010, Adelaide, Australia 59102, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  7. Collins, Jill P. & Vossler, Christian A., 2009. "Incentive compatibility tests of choice experiment value elicitation questions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 226-235, September.
  8. Thomas P. Holmes & Kevin J. Boyle, 2005. "Dynamic Learning and Context-Dependence in Sequential, Attribute-Based, Stated-Preference Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
  9. Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Georgiou, Stavros & Lake, Iain, 2006. "The aggregation of environmental benefit values: Welfare measures, distance decay and total WTP," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 450-460, December.
  10. Jacinto Braga & Chris Starmer, 2005. "Preference Anomalies, Preference Elicitation and the Discovered Preference Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 55-89, 09.
  11. Gregory L. Poe & Kelly L. Giraud & John B. Loomis, 2005. "Computational Methods for Measuring the Difference of Empirical Distributions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 353-365.
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