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Are Preferences for Food Quality Attributes Really Normally Distributed? An Analysis Using Flexible Mixing Distributions

Author

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  • Vincenzina Caputo

    () (Michigan State University)

  • Riccardo Scarpa

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Rodlofo M. Nayga

    () (University of Arkansas)

  • David L. Ortega

    () (Michigan State University)

Abstract

We empirically question the commonly employed distributional assumption of normality of taste distribution in mixed logit models with continuous random parameters. We use a WTP-space random utility discrete choice model with flexible distributions (Train 2016) on data from two choice experiments regarding beef with nested set of quality attributes. We specifically address distributional features such as asymmetry, multi-modality and range of variation, and find little support for normality. Our results are robust to attribute dimensionality in experimental design. Implications of our results for practitioners in the field are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzina Caputo & Riccardo Scarpa & Rodlofo M. Nayga & David L. Ortega, 2017. "Are Preferences for Food Quality Attributes Really Normally Distributed? An Analysis Using Flexible Mixing Distributions," Working Papers in Economics 17/27, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:17/27
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    Keywords

    flexible taste distributions; mixed logit; logit mixed logit; food preferences; preference heterogneity;

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