Stated Choice design comparison in a developing country: recall and attribute nonattendance

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Journal Article
Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 2014, 4 (1)
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© 2014, Iles and Rose; licensee Springer. Background Experimental designs constitute a vital component of all Stated Choice (aka discrete choice experiment) studies. However, there exists limited empirical evaluation of the statistical benefits of Stated Choice (SC) experimental designs that employ non-zero prior estimates in constructing non-orthogonal constrained designs. This paper statistically compares the performance of contrasting SC experimental designs. In so doing, the effect of respondent literacy on patterns of Attribute non-Attendance (ANA) across fractional factorial orthogonal and efficient designs is also evaluated. The study uses a ‘real’ SC design to model consumer choice of primary health care providers in rural north India. A total of 623 respondents were sampled across four villages in Uttar Pradesh, India. Methods Comparison of orthogonal and efficient SC experimental designs is based on several measures. Appropriate comparison of each design’s respective efficiency measure is made using D-error results. Standardised Akaike Information Criteria are compared between designs and across recall periods. Comparisons control for stated and inferred ANA. Coefficient and standard error estimates are also compared. Results The added complexity of the efficient SC design, theorised elsewhere, is reflected in higher estimated amounts of ANA among illiterate respondents. However, controlling for ANA using stated and inferred methods consistently shows that the efficient design performs statistically better. Modelling SC data from the orthogonal and efficient design shows that model-fit of the efficient design outperform the orthogonal design when using a 14-day recall period. The performance of the orthogonal design, with respect to standardised AIC model-fit, is better when longer recall periods of 30-days, 6-months and 12-months are used. Conclusions The effect of the efficient design’s cognitive demand is apparent among literate and illiterate respondents, although, more pronounced among illiterate respondents. This study empirically confirms that relaxing the orthogonality constraint of SC experimental designs increases the information collected in choice tasks, subject to the accuracy of the non-zero priors in the design and the correct specification of a ‘real’ SC recall period.
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