Inconsistent and Lexicographic Choices in Stated Preference Analysis

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2004-038/3

30 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2004

See all articles by Jan Rouwendal

Jan Rouwendal

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics; Tinbergen Institute

A. T. de Blaeij

Utrecht University - Faculty of Geographical Sciences

Abstract

In stated choice (SC) data inconsistent and lexicographic choice behavior is often observed. It is sometimes recommended to remove data with these characteristics from the analysis. In this paper we reconsider this recommendation. In our data many respondents have inconsistent choice patterns, which appear to be due to incidental mistakes. Moreover, a large number of the consistent respondents have lexicographic choice patterns. We show that the logit model, which is the most popular tool for analyzing SP data, is compatible with inconsistent and seemingly lexicographic choice behavior and that it offers precise predictions about the occurrence of such choices. In the data at our disposal the actual number of respondents who made different choices in two identical choice situations is substantially lower than that predicted by the model, whereas the number of respondents with lexicographic answers is much larger than predicted. The logit model is then adapted in various ways to bring it in better agreement with the facts. In particular, we introduce an effect of remembering the earlier choice when the same situation recurs, the presence of latent classes of lexicographic respondents and the presence of heterogeneity among respondents.

Keywords: Stated preference analysis, choice experiments, inconsistent choices, lexicographic choices, value of time, value of a statistical life

JEL Classification: C25, C93, Q51, R41

Suggested Citation

Rouwendal, Jan and de Blaeij, Arianne T., Inconsistent and Lexicographic Choices in Stated Preference Analysis. Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2004-038/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=528042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.528042

Jan Rouwendal (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Arianne T. De Blaeij

Utrecht University - Faculty of Geographical Sciences ( email )

Postbus 80.115
3508 TC Utrecht
Netherlands

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