A comparison of regret-based and utility-based discrete choice modelling - an empirical illustration with hospital bed choice
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CitationPaul, Pavitra. Berlin, Claudia. Maessen, Maud. Valtonen, Hannu. (2018). A comparison of regret-based and utility-based discrete choice modelling - an empirical illustration with hospital bed choice. APPLIED ECONOMICS, Published online: 05 Mar 2018, 10.1080/00036846.2018.1444260.
There is some concern that the unobserved preference heterogeneity in random utility maximization theory-based discrete choice experiment modelling is an important source of error variability. The randomness in utility is often interpreted as interpersonal preference heterogeneity but it can also be intrapersonal random variation in preferences. We compare utility maximization and regret minimization-based choice models’ sensitivity to individual heterogeneity, examine differences between two consecrated models and validate with empirical illustrations. We use frequency of category (public, semi-private, and private) of bed chosen from Swiss cross-sectional datasets (2007–2012) to compare two approaches – utility maximization and regret minimization by applying multinomial logit (MNL) models in regard to the variances in utility (regret) function, goodness-of-fit and predicted marginal effects (pseudo-elasticity) of additional payment. We find parameters with the same sign and estimates with almost same order of magnitude in both the approaches. The statistical significance of attribute effects is consistent in all variants of utility -based MNL models while effects of different attributes are significant only in heteroskedastic extreme value (HEV) variant of regret-based MNL models. This empirical illustration suggests that HEV variant of regret-based models perform better in capturing attribute effects in choice behaviour.