Estimating Flexible Distributions of Ideal-Points With External Analysis of Preferences
PSYCHOMETRIKA, Vol. 56, No. 3, 419-431, September 1991
13 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2014
Date Written: 1991
Ideal-points are widely used to model choices when preferences are single-peaked. Ideal point choice models have been typically estimated at the individual-level, or have been based on the assumption that ideal-points are normally distributed over the population of choice makers. We propose two probabilistic ideal-point choice models for the external analysis of preferences that allow for more flexible multimodal distributions of ideal-points, thus acknowledging the existence of subpopulations with distinct preferences. The first model extends the ideal-point probit model for heterogeneous preferences to accommodate a mixture of multivariate normal distributions of ideal-points. The second model assumes that ideal-points are uniformly distributed within finite ranges of the attribute space, leading to a more simplistic formulation and a more flexible distribution. The two models are applied to simulated and actual choice data, and compared to the ideal-point probit model.
Keywords: choice models, multinomial probit
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