Research Seminar

Cost Non-Attendance in Stated Choice Experiments: A Think-Aloud Approach – Andrea Wunsch

16 May 2023


Andrea Wunsch (Kiel Institute)


While attribute non-attendance has received some attention in the literature when investigating the premises of stated choice experiments, here we apply a novel procedure similar to the think-aloud approach used in psychology. The focus on the non-attendance of cost is motivated by the fact that the cost attribute is commonly used to estimate marginal and non-marginal welfare measures which may be used in cost-benefit analysis and potentially informs decision makers. In two independent online choice experiments on the Baltic Sea, we asked respondents to provide short open-text descriptions of how they made their decisions. We assume that respondents post-hoc write down what was driving their decisions and in contrast to direct questioning of attendance of certain attributes are less influenced. Responses were then coded to form an indicator for non-attendance of cost. We then generate interactions between this indicator and the cost attribute in addition to the main effect in MNL and latent class models. We find that respondents who actually mentioned costs as being part of their decision making have a higher cost-sensitivity. Consequently, marginal WTP estimates are generated separately: for the group of people who did not mention the cost attribute at all (main effect), and for those who mentioned cost in their statement about how they responded to the choice sets (main effect plus interaction effect). Accounting for cost non-attendance based on think-aloud information proves to be a useful way to calibrate stated willingness to pay, and thus be considered when cost-benefit analyses are intended to guide policy decisions.


Andrea Wunscha (Kiel Institute) – Jürgen Meyerhoff (CAU Kiel University) – Katrin Rehdanz (Berlin School of Economics and Law)


Lecture Hall (A-032)