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Lexicographic Preferences in Discrete Choice Experiments: Consequences on Individual-Specific Willingness to Pay Estimates

Danny Campbell (), W. George Hutchinson and Riccardo Scarpa
Additional contact information
W. George Hutchinson: Gibson Institute of Land, Food and Environmen, Queen’s University Belfast

No 2006.128, Working Papers from Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Abstract: In discrete choice experiments respondents are generally assumed to consider all of the attributes across each of the alternatives, and to choose their most preferred. However, results in this paper indicate that many respondents employ simplified lexicographic decision-making rules, whereby they have a ranking of the attributes, but their choice of an alternative is based solely on the level of their most important attribute(s). Not accounting for these simple decision-making heuristics introduces systemic errors and leads to biased point estimates, as they are a violation of the continuity axiom and a departure from the use of compensatory decision-making. In this paper the implications of lexicographic preferences are examined. In particular, using a mixed logit specification this paper investigates the sensitivity of individual-specific willingness to pay (WTP) estimates conditional on whether lexicographic decision-making rules are accounted for in the modelling of discrete choice responses. Empirical results are obtained from a discrete choice experiment that was carried out to address the value of a number of rural landscape attributes in Ireland.

Keywords: Continuity axiom; Discrete Choice Experiments; Lexicographic Preferences; Mixed Logit; Individual-Specific Willingness to Pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C35 Q24 Q51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dcm, nep-exp, nep-tur and nep-upt
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Related works:
Working Paper: Lexicographic Preferences in Discrete Choice Experiments: Consequences on Individual-Specific Willingness to Pay Estimates (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Lexicographic preferences for rural environmental landscape improvements: implications on individual-specific willingness to pay estimates (2006) Downloads
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