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Ordering effects and strategic response in discrete choice experiments

  • Gabriela Scheufele


    (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)

  • Jeff Bennett


    (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)

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 Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports with number 1093.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:eenhrr:1093
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3tb6j874, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. Richard Carson & Theodore Groves, 2007. "Incentive and informational properties of preference questions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 181-210, May.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
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