The use of the cut-offs methodology to identify inconsistent answers in discrete choice models

Sergio Colombo, Nick Hanley, Glenn Bush


In the choice experiment method respondents are typically assumed to hold a perfectly rational selection rule. However, individuals may use other selection rules when choosing the preferred alternative to simplify the choice. In this paper, we make use of the “cutoffs” model to as a way of handling the non-compensatory nature of choices. Furthermore, we extend it to allow consideration of inconsistencies in choice in stated preference choice data. We find that this allows a better fitting model to be estimated, and that it produces considerable effects on the implied willingness to pay.


Choice experiment; Choice inconsistency; Cut-offs

Subject classification

Q5, D01.

Full Text:



Amaya-Amaya, M. y Ryan, M. (2006). “Incorporating attribute cut-offs in health care discrete choice models”. Discussion paper, Health Economics Research Unit, Aberdeen.

Fawcett, K., Hodgkinson, C. y Mehlman, P. (2004). “An assessment of the impact of tourism on the Virunga mountain gorillas”. Technical report, Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Atlanta, USA.

Ford, J., Schmitt, N., Schechtman, S., Hults, B. y Doherty, M. (1989). “Process tracing methods: Problems and neglected research questions”. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 43:75-117.

Gilbride, T. y Allenby, G. (2004). “A choice model with conjunctive, disjunctive and compensatory screening rules”. Marketing Science, 23(3):391-406.

Hawkins, D., Best, R. y Coney, K. (1994). Comportamiento del consumidor. Repercusiones en la estrategia de Marketing. Ed. Addison-Wesley, Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México.

Halton, J. (1960).”On the efficiency of evaluating certain quasi-random sequences of points in evaluating multi-dimensional integrals”. Numeriske Mathematik, 2:84-90.

Huber, J. y Klein, N. (1991). “Adapting cutoffs to the choice environment: the effects of ttribute correlation and reliability”. Journal of Consumer Research, 18:346-357.

Koutsopoulos, H. y Vythoulkas, P. (2003). “Modelling discrete choice behaviour using concepts from fuzzy set theory”. Transportation Research C, 11(1):51-73.

Lancaster, K. (1966). A new approach to Consumer Theory. Journal of Political Economy, 74:132-157.

Leach, M., Mearns, R. y Scoones, I. (1999). “Environmental entitlements: Dynamics and institutions in community based natural resource management”. World Development, 27:225-247.

Mansky, C. (1977). “The structure of random utility models”. Theory and Decision, 8:229-254.

Noss, A.J. (1997). “Challenges to nature conservation with community development in central African forests”. Oryx, 31:180-188.

Payne, J., Bettman, W. y Johsnson, E. (1998). “Adaptive strategy selection in decision making”. Journal of decision psycology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 14:534-552.

Plumptre, A.J., Kayitare, A., Rainer, H., Gray, M., Munanura, I., Barakabuye, N., Asuma, S., Sivha, M. y Namara, A. (2004). The Socio-economic Status of People Living Near Protected Areas in the Central Albertine Rift. Albertine Rift Technical Reports, 4.

Republic of Rwanda (2007). Annual Economic Report 2006. Ministry of Finance and Economic

Planning, Kigali.

Ruud, P. (1996). “Approximation and simulation of the multinomial probit model. An analysis of covariance matrix estimation”. Working paper, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley.

Swait J. (2001). “A non-compensatory choice model incorporating attribute cut-offs”. Transportation Research B, 35:903-928.

Train, K. (2003). Discrete Choice Methods with Simulations. Cambridge University Press.

Tversky, A. (1972). “Elimination-by-aspects: A theory of choice”. Psychology Review, 79:281-299.

Wunder, S. (2000). “Ecotourism and economic incentives-an empirical approach”. Ecological Economics, 32:465-479.

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

 Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 2174-7350   ISSN: 1578-0732