Non-attendance and dual processing of common-metric attributes in choice analysis: A latent class specification
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There is a growing literature that promotes the presence of process heterogeneity in the way that individuals evaluate packages of attributes in real or hypothetical markets and make choices. A centerpiece of current research is the identification of rules that individuals invoke when processing information in stated choice (SC) experiments. These rules may be heuristics used in everyday choice making as well as manifestations of ways of coping with the amount of information shown in choice experiment scenarios. In this paper, using the latent class framework, we define classes based on rules that recognise the non-attendance of one or more attributes, as well as on the addition and the parameter transfer of common-metric attributes. These processing strategies are postulated to be used in real markets as a form of cognitive rationalization. We use a SC data set, where car driving individuals choose between tolled and non-tolled routes, to translate this new evidence into a willingness to pay (WTP) for travel time savings, and contrast it with the results from a model specification in which all attributes are assumed to be attended to and are not added up with parameter preservation. We find that the WTP is significantly higher, on average, than the estimate obtained from the commonly used full relevance and attribute preservation specification. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
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