A delegation of SARE staff recently attended the 2013 International Choice Modelling Conference in Sydney (see our Facebook page). The ICMC is a conference focussing on Discrete Choice Experiment methodology, attracting DCE experts from around the world in health economics, management, psychology, transport, and environmental economics.
During the conference, Assist/Prof Dr. Marit Ellen Kragt was presented with the Journal of Choice Modelling Best Paper Award. She won this prize for her paper ‘Evidence-based environmental attributes in choice experiments’. The jury praised the quality of the paper, and the importance of the topic for the choice experiment community.
The paper addresses questions about the use of evidence when researchers select indicators of environmental change. There is a large gap between the indicators used by biophysical scientists, and the indicators (called ‘attributes’) used by environmental economist in choice experiment studies. Dr. Kragt discussed how most environmental economists base their attributes on feedback from focus groups, rather than scientific data. A major gap in the current literature is the lack of rigorous reporting practices: many researchers do not report any evidence used to select attributes or attribute levels. Dr. Kragt claims that to increase the credibility of DCEs in the wider academic community, researchers need to be more careful in reporting evidence and research protocols.
Other SARE staff presented papers on ‘Choice Consistency and Its Determinants’ (Rigby); and ‘A Nested Logit Model of Green Electricity Consumption in Western Australia’ (Ma & Burton). Dr. Kragt’s paper has been submitted for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Choice Modelling.
Assistant Professor Marit Kragt (SARE) (+61 8) 6488 4653