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Social preferences for agricultural policy instruments: joint consideration of non-attendance to attributes and to alternatives in modelling discrete choice data

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This paper uses the choice experiment method to analyse social preferences towards a set of agricultural policy instruments that are likely to play a key role in the post-2013 design of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. It contributes to the choice experiment literature by incorporating different attribute processing strategies into stated choice models. By comparing models that consider attribute non-attendance for individual choice tasks and for the whole sequence of choices, we demonstrate the impact of different ways of accounting for attribute non-attendance on model performance and preferences. In addition, we test whether ‘non-attendance to alternatives’, which describes the elimination of alternatives due to the presence of attribute levels deemed unacceptable to a respondent, is a relevant information processing strategy in a choice experiment context. The results clearly show that individuals allocate attention over a reduced array of information and jointly apply decision strategies that involve attribute non-attendance and non-attendance to alternatives. The joint consideration of these information processing strategies results in a significant improvement of model fit to data, and a better description of respondents’ preferences.
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Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy instruments; attribute processing strategies; choice experiment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural Economics, IFAPA, Granada, Spain 2: SRUC, Scotland's Rural College, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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