Response Strategies and Learning in Discrete Choice Experiments

Gabriela Scheufele, Jeff Bennett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This study explores ordering effects and response strategies in repeated binary discrete choice experiments. Mechanism design theory and empirical evidence suggest that repeated choice tasks per respondent induce strategic behaviour. We find evidence that strategic opportunities provided by the order in which choice sets are presented to respondents affect choice decisions (strategic response). The results suggest, however, that respondents may solely respond to high cost rather than low cost inconsistencies. That is, respondents are more cost sensitive, and thus have a lower willingness to pay (WTP), if the same or a similar level of provision was offered in a previous choice set at a lower cost than if it was not. Yet, the cost sensitivity, and thus WTP, remains unaffected if the same or a similar level of provision was offered in a previous choice set at a higher cost. Our findings further indicate that cost sensitivity increases (and thus WTP decreases), when respondents progress through the choice task, with this increase (decrease) lessening as more choice questions are answered. Possible explanations are value learning and strategic learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-453
    JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
    Volume52
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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