Modeling the effects of including/excluding attributes in choice experiments on systematic and random components

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Journal Article
International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2007, December, 24 (4), pp. 289 - 300
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This paper examines the impact of attribute presence/absence in choice experiments using covariance heterogeneity models and random coefficient models. Results show that attribute presence/absence impacts both mean utility (systematic components) and choice variability (random components). Biased mean effects can occur by not accounting for choice variability. Further, even if one accounts for choice variability, attribute effects can differ because of attribute presence/absence. Managers who use choice experiments to study product changes or new variants should be cautious about excluding potentially essential attributes. Although including more relevant attributes increases choice variability, it also reduces bias.
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