Revealing additional preference heterogeneity with an extended random parameter logit model: the case of extra virgin olive oil

Ahmed Yangui, Montserrat Costa-Font, Jose M. Gil

Abstract


Methods that account for preference heterogeneity have received a significant amount of attention in recent literature. Most of them have focused on preference heterogeneity around the mean of the random parameters, which has been specified as a function of socio-demographic characteristics. This paper aims at analyzing consumers’ preferences towards extra-virgin olive oil in Catalonia using a methodological framework with two novelties over past studies: 1) it accounts for both preference heterogeneity around the mean and the variance; and 2) it considers both socio-demographic characteristics of consumers as well as their attitudinal factors. Estimated coefficients and moments of willingness to pay (WTP) distributions are compared with those obtained from alternative Random Parameter Logit (RPL) models. Results suggest that the proposed framework increases the goodness-of-fit and provides more useful insights for policy analysis. The most important attributes affecting consumers’ preferences towards extra virgin olive oil are the price and the product’s origin. The consumers perceive the organic olive oil attribute negatively, as they think that it is not worth paying a premium for a product that is healthy in nature.


Keywords


preference heterogeneity; attitudinal factors; discrete choice model; extra-vigin olive oil; willingness to pay

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014123-5501