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What do we learn from comparing hedonic scores and willingness-to-pay data?

  • Emilie Ginon

    (Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, LESSAC - Laboratoire d'Expérimentation en Sciences Sociales et Analyse des Comportements - ESC Dijon)

  • Pierre Combris

    (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UR1303)

  • Youenn Loheac


    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, FBS - France Business School - France Business School)

  • Géraldine Enderli

    (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UR1303, CSGA - Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation - CNRS : UMR6265 - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) : UMR1324 - Université de Bourgogne)

  • Sylvie Issanchou


    (Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)

Consumer preferences for different variants of a given food product can be directly obtained with hedonic measurements or revealed with willingness-to-pay measurements. The aim of this paper is to present a comparison of the data collected using these two types of measurements on four data sets collected in our laboratory for different food products (bread, cooked ham, cheese and orange juice). This comparison was conducted at two levels (global and individual) and was based on two criteria: discrimination between variants and consistency in variant ranking. For the four data sets, hedonic measurements and willingness-to-pay measurements were collected for each participant in a 'full information' condition, i.e. in a condition where participants tasted each variant associated with extrinsic information. To reveal consumer willingness-to-pay, the BDM mechanism was used (Becker, DeGroot, & Marschak, 1964), which consists in real sales at a random price. Aggregate results were similar for the two measurements. In addition, in two out of four studies, willingness-to-pay measurements led to slightly higher discrimination between variants than hedonic measurements. At the individual level, more inconsistencies were found. This result is in line with previous studies. Nevertheless, participants were more consistent concerning the most-liked variant than concerning the least-liked variant. Our results also showed that hedonic score distributions did not reveal any cut-off point below which consumers chose the no-purchase option; this cut-off point largely depended on individuals and products.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00950490.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published, Food Quality and Preference, 2014, 33, 54-63
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00950490
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  1. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-38, September.
  2. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
  3. Wendy J. Umberger & Dillon M. Feuz, 2004. "The Usefulness of Experimental Auctions in Determining Consumers' Willingness-to-Pay for Quality-Differentiated Products," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 170-185.
  4. Harrison, Glen W. & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutström, 1995. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Discussion Paper Serie B 349, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Laurent Muller & Bernard Ruffieux, 2011. "Do price-tags influence consumers’ willingness to pay? On the external validity of using auctions for measuring value," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 181-202, May.
  6. James Murphy & P. Allen & Thomas Stevens & Darryl Weatherhead, 2005. "A Meta-analysis of Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(3), pages 313-325, 03.
  7. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377940 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
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