Investigating the Effects of Attribute Level Framing and Changing Cost Levels in Choice Experiments

Choice experiments (CE) are increasingly used to estimate the values of non-market goods and services. A cost attribute is typically included in a CE questionnaire to estimate monetary values for changes in the non-market attributes presented. Although the cost attribute is centrally important, there has been limited research into the impacts of varying cost attribute levels on respondents’ choices in CE surveys. The context in which non-market attributes are presented to respondents (the ‘attribute frame’) may also affect value estimates. The challenge for CE practitioners is to identify the ‘appropriate’ attribute frames and cost level range. Results from a CE study in Tasmania show that respondents’ preferences are not impacted by describing an attribute in ‘presence’ versus ‘loss’. The absolute attribute levels, therefore, were most important in this study. Comparisons between different split samples are evidence that changing the cost attribute level does affect respondents’ preferences – higher levels lead to significantly higher estimates of willingness to pay for one of the three environmental attributes.

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ISSN 1835-9728 (Other)
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Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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