Effects of alternative elicitation formats in discrete choice experiments*

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Abstract

An elicitation format prevalently applied in discrete choice experiments (DCE) is to offer each respondent a sequence of choice tasks containing more than two choice options. However, empirical evidence indicates that repeated choice tasks influence choice outcomes through order effects. The study reported in this article employs a split sample approach based on field surveys to expand the research on effects of repeated-binary DCE elicitation formats. A single-binary elicitation format is used as the baseline. Our results indicate that choice outcomes may vary across the single-binary and repeated-binary elicitation formats. The choice between the two elicitation formats may imply a trade-off between decreased choice precision in the single-binary and order effects that may be explained by strategic misrepresentation of preferences, cost uncertainty effects and reference effects in the repeated-binary elicitation format.

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