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Convergent validity between a discrete choice experiment and a direct, open-ended method: Comparison of preferred attribute levels and willingness to pay estimates

Marjon van der Pol (), Alan Shiell, Flora Au, David Johnston and Suzanne Tough

Social Science & Medicine, 2008, vol. 67, issue 12, 2043-2050

Abstract: The Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) has become increasingly popular as a method for eliciting patient or population preferences. If DCE estimates are to inform health policy, it is crucial that the answers they provide are valid. Convergent validity is tested in this paper by comparing the results of a DCE exercise with the answers obtained from direct, open-ended questions. The two methods are compared in terms of preferred attribute levels and willingness to pay (WTP) values. Face-to-face interviews were held with 292 women in Calgary, Canada. Similar values were found between the two methods with respect to preferred levels for two out of three of the attributes examined. The DCE predicted less well for levels outside the range than for levels inside the range reaffirming the importance of extensive piloting to ensure appropriate level range in DCEs. The mean WTP derived from the open-ended question was substantially lower than the mean derived from the DCE. However, the two sets of willingness to pay estimates were consistent with each other in that individuals who were willing to pay more in the open-ended question were also willing to pay more in the DCE. The difference in mean WTP values between the two approaches (direct versus DCE) demonstrates the importance of continuing research into the different biases present across elicitation methods.

Keywords: Discrete; choice; experiments; Convergent; validity; Preference; elicitation; Willingness; to; pay; (WTP); Canada (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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