What are the consequences of ignoring attributes in choice experiments? An application to ecosystem service values
This paper investigates the sensitivity of choice experiment values for ecosystem services to "attribute non-attendance". We consider three cases of attendance, namely that people may always, sometimes or never pay attention to a given attribute in making their choices. This allows a series of models to be estimated which address the following questions: To what extent do respondents attend to attributes in choice experiments? What is the impact of alternative strategies for dealing with attribute non-attendance? Can respondents self-report non-attendance? Do respondents partially attend to attributes, and what are the implications of this for willingness to pay estimates? Our results show that allowing for the instance of "sometimes attending" to attributes in making choices offers advantages over methods employed thus far in the literature.
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