For better or worse? Investigating the validity of best–worst discrete choice experiments in health

For better or worse? Investigating the validity of best–worst discrete choice experiments in health

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For better or worse? Investigating the validity of best–worst discrete choice experiments in health”. N. Krucien, J. Sicsic, M. Ryan. Health Economics 2019 Vol. 28, pp. 572-586 (CNRS rank 1)
Abstract
Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are frequently used in health economics to
measure preferences for nonmarket goods. Bestworst discrete choice experi-
ment (BWDCE) has been proposed as a variant of the traditional pick the best
approach. BWDCE, where participants choose the best and worst options, is
argued to generate more precise preference estimates because of the additional
information collected. However, the validity of the approach relies on two nec-
essary conditions: (a) best and worst decisions provide similar information
about preferences and (b) asking individuals to answer more than one choice
question per task does not reduce data quality. Whether these conditions hold
in empi rical applications remains under researched. This is the first study to
compare participants’ choices across three experimental conditions: (a) BEST
choices only, (b) WORST choices only, and (c) BEST and WORST choices
(BWDCE). We find responses to worst choices are noisier. Implied preferences
from the best only and worst only choices are qualitatively different, leading to
different WTP values. Responses to BWDCE tasks have lower consistency, and
respondents are more likely to use simplifying decision heuristics. We urge cau-
tion in using BWDCE as an alternative to the traditional pick the best DCE.
Keywords
Bestworst scaling, discrete choice experiments, stated preferences
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