Incorporating Context Effects into a Choice Model
Journal of Marketing Research, 2010
54 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2013
Date Written: December 9, 2010
The behavioral literature provides ample evidence that consumer preferences are partly driven by the context provided by the set of alternatives. Three important context effects are the compromise, attraction, and similarity effect. As these context effects affect choices in a systematic and predictable way, it should be possible to incorporate them in a choice model. However, the literature does not offer such a choice model. This study fills this gap by proposing a discrete-choice model that decomposes a product’s utility into a context-free partworth utility and a context-dependent component capturing all three context effects. Model estimation results on choice-based conjoint data concerning digital cameras provide convincing statistical evidence for context effects. The estimated context effects are consistent with the predictions from the behavioral literature, and accounting for context effects leads to better predictions both in and out-of-sample. To illustrate the benefit from incorporating context effects in a choice model, the authors illustrate how firms could utilize the context sensitivity of consumers to design more profitable product lines.
Keywords: context effects, behavioral decision making, choice models, hierarchical bayes, product line design
JEL Classification: M31, C25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation