Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 July 2010
Understanding the behavioural responses of individuals to the actions of business and government will always be of interest to a wide spectrum of society. Whether a simple application such as gauging the effect of an increase in the price of a specific good or service, or a more complex one such as evaluating the introduction of a new product with private and public impacts, understanding and predicting the nature of individual and aggregate responses is vital to the evaluation of the resulting costs and benefits. Choosing to do or not to do something is a ubiquitous state of activity in all societies. Choosing manifests itself in many ways such as supporting one outcome and rejecting others, expressed through active responses (e.g., choosing to use products or services through purchases), or through passive responses, such as supporting particular views (e.g., choosing to support a conservation rather than a logging position in a dispute over wood chipping). Individuals' choices are influenced by habit, inertia, experience, advertising, peer pressures, environmental constraints, accumulated opinion, house-hold and family constraints, etc. This set of influences reflects the temporal nature of choice outcomes and segments within the constraint set (e.g., income classes of house-holds).
Our objective in writing a book on stated choice methods, analysis and applications, is to demonstrate the benefits of developing a formal structure within which to investigate the responsiveness of potential and actual participants in markets for particular goods, services and positions.
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