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Restricted versus unrestricted choice in labelled choice experiments: exploring the tradeoffs of expanding choice dimensions

Listed author(s):
  • Windle, Jill
  • Rolfe, John
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    The main objective of the study outlined in this paper was to examine how the inclusion of an additional labelled alternative, to provide respondents with more choice in a stated preference survey, impacted on choice complexity. The valuation context was to elicit preferences for improvements in the future condition of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A split sample experiment was implemented where one survey included four labelled alternatives: a status quo option and three specific policy management options (restricted choice). The other survey provided respondents with an unrestricted choice set by including a fifth alternative choice, labelled as “a combination of management options”. While the additional option improved opportunities to find an attractive choice profile, adding an extra alternative increased the complexity of the survey. The tradeoff between choice flexibility and complexity is examined in terms of changes in respondents’ choice behaviour and the performance of the different models. The results provide some evidence that adding a combination policy alternative did change the ways that respondents viewed tradeoffs, but that choice behaviour and subsequent value estimates were consistent across the two survey formats.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/95072
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    Paper provided by Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub in its series Research Reports with number 95072.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2010
    Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:95072
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    1. Caussade, Sebastián & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios & Rizzi, Luis I. & Hensher, David A., 2005. "Assessing the influence of design dimensions on stated choice experiment estimates," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 621-640, August.
    2. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Moon, Amanda, 2009. "Complexity in choice experiments: choice of the status quo alternative and implications for welfare measurement," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), December.
    3. David Hensher, 2006. "Revealing Differences in Willingness to Pay due to the Dimensionality of Stated Choice Designs: An Initial Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(1), pages 7-44, 05.
    4. 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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    6. Kevin Boyle & Semra Özdemir, 2009. "Convergent Validity of Attribute-Based, Choice Questions in Stated-Preference Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 247-264, February.
    7. Roger H. von Haefen & D. Matthew Massey & Wiktor L. Adamowicz, 2005. "Serial Nonparticipation in Repeated Discrete Choice Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1061-1076.
    8. 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.
    9. Rolfe, John & Bennett, Jeff, 2009. "The impact of offering two versus three alternatives in choice modelling experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1140-1148, February.
    10. Swait, Joffre & Adamowicz, Wiktor, 2001. " The Influence of Task Complexity on Consumer Choice: A Latent Class Model of Decision Strategy Switching," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 135-148, June.
    11. Arentze, Theo & Borgers, Aloys & Timmermans, Harry & DelMistro, Romano, 2003. "Transport stated choice responses: effects of task complexity, presentation format and literacy," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 229-244, May.
    12. Søren Olsen, 2009. "Choosing Between Internet and Mail Survey Modes for Choice Experiment Surveys Considering Non-Market Goods," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 591-610, December.
    13. Blamey, R. K. & Bennett, J. W. & Louviere, J. J. & Morrison, M. D. & Rolfe, J., 2000. "A test of policy labels in environmental choice modelling studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 269-286, February.
    14. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley, 2009. "Using Labels to Investigate Scope Effects in Stated Preference Methods," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 521-535, December.
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