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Sequencing Anomalies in Choice Experiments


  • Brett Day

    () (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia.)

  • Jose Luis Pinto Prades

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)


This paper investigates whether responses to choice experiments (CEs) are subject to sequencing anomalies. While previous research has focussed on the possibility that such anomalies relate to position in the sequence of choice tasks, our research reveals that the particular sequence of tasks matters. Using a novel experimental design that allows us to test our hypotheses using robust nonparametric statistics, we observe sequencing anomalies in CE data similar to those recorded in the dichotomous choice contingent valuation literature. Those sequencing effects operate in both price and commodity dimensions and are observed to compound over a series of choice tasks. Our findings cast serious doubt on the current practice of asking each respondent to undertake several choice tasks in a CE whilst treating each response as an independent observation on that individual’s preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Brett Day & Jose Luis Pinto Prades, 2008. "Sequencing Anomalies in Choice Experiments," Working Papers 08.10, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:08.10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
    2. DeShazo, J. R., 2002. "Designing Transactions without Framing Effects in Iterative Question Formats," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 360-385, May.
    3. Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2004. "What's it worth? An examination of historical trends and future directions in environmental valuation," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(3), September.
    4. Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Boxall, Peter C. & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1995. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments versus Contingent Valuation," Staff Paper Series 24126, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    5. Richard T. Carson, 2011. "Contingent Valuation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2489.
    6. Herriges, Joseph A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1996. "Starting Point Bias in Dichotomous Choice Valuation with Follow-Up Questioning," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 112-131, January.
    7. Bateman, Ian J. & Langford, Ian H. & Jones, Andrew P. & Kerr, Geoffrey N., 2001. "Bound and path effects in double and triple bounded dichotomous choice contingent valuation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 191-213, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Cameron Trudy Ann & Quiggin John, 1994. "Estimation Using Contingent Valuation Data from a Dichotomous Choice with Follow-Up Questionnaire," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 218-234, November.
    10. Bateman, Ian J. & Brouwer, Roy, 2006. "Consistency and construction in stated WTP for health risk reductions: A novel scope-sensitivity test," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 199-214, August.
    11. 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).
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    More about this item


    Choice experiments; sequencing anomalies; ordering effects; dichotomous choice contingent valuation; non-parametric testing.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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