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What are the consequences of ignoring attributes in choice experiments? An application to ecosystem service values

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  • Christie, Michael
  • Colombo, Sergio
  • Hanley, Nicholas

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christie, Michael & Colombo, Sergio & Hanley, Nicholas, 2011. "What are the consequences of ignoring attributes in choice experiments? An application to ecosystem service values," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-20, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2011-20
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3557
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mariel, Petr & Hoyos, D. & Meyerhoff, J., 2013. "Stated or inferred attribute non-attendance? A simulation approach," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 13(1).
    2. Barbier,Edward B., 2011. "Capitalizing on Nature," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107007277, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Danny Campbell & W. Hutchinson & Riccardo Scarpa, 2008. "Incorporating Discontinuous Preferences into the Analysis of Discrete Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 401-417, November.
    5. Adamowicz, Wiktor & Swait, Joffre & Boxall, Peter & Louviere, Jordan & Williams, Michael, 1997. "Perceptions versus Objective Measures of Environmental Quality in Combined Revealed and Stated Preference Models of Environmental Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 65-84, January.
    6. Richard Carson & Jordan Louviere, 2011. "A Common Nomenclature for Stated Preference Elicitation Approaches," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 539-559, August.
    7. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & David A. Hensher, 2010. "Monitoring Choice Task Attribute Attendance in Nonmarket Valuation of Multiple Park Management Services: Does It Matter?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 817-839.
    8. Glenn Bush & Sergio Colombo & Nick Hanley, 2009. "Should all Choices Count? Using the Cut-Offs Approach to Edit Responses in a Choice Experiment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 397-414, November.
    9. Hess, Stephane & Hensher, David A., 2010. "Using conditioning on observed choices to retrieve individual-specific attribute processing strategies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 781-790, July.
    10. Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, Nick, 1995. "Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 191-208, March.
    11. Emily Lancsar & Jordan Louviere, 2006. "Deleting 'irrational' responses from discrete choice experiments: a case of investigating or imposing preferences?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 797-811.
    12. Christie, Mike & Hanley, Nick & Warren, John & Murphy, Kevin & Wright, Robert & Hyde, Tony, 2006. "Valuing the diversity of biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 304-317, June.
    13. David Hensher & John Rose & William Greene, 2005. "The implications on willingness to pay of respondents ignoring specific attributes," Transportation, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 203-222, May.
    14. Begoña Álvarez-Farizo & Nick Hanley, 2006. "Improving the Process of Valuing Non-Market Benefits: Combining Citizens’ Juries with Choice Modelling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(3), pages 465-478.
    15. 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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    Keywords

    Choice experiments; attribute non-attendance; Biodiversity; ecosystem services; stated preference;

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