Are preferences for food quality attributes really normally distributed? An analysis using flexible mixing distributions

Citation data:

Journal of Choice Modelling, ISSN: 1755-5345, Vol: 28, Page: 10-27

Publication Year:
2018
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DOI:
10.1016/j.jocm.2018.04.003
Author(s):
Vincenzina Caputo; Riccardo Scarpa; Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr.; David L. Ortega
Publisher(s):
Elsevier BV
Tags:
Mathematics; Decision Sciences
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article description
We empirically question the commonly invoked assumption of normality of taste distribution in mixed logit models with continuous random parameters. We use a WTP-space random utility discrete choice model with flexible distributions on data from two choice experiments regarding beef with nested set of quality attributes. We specifically focus on distributional features such as asymmetry, multi-modality and range of variation, and find little support for normality. Our results are robust to attribute dimensionality in experimental design. Implications of our results for practitioners in the field are discussed.