Discrete Choice Modelling

RAND Europe researchers have substantial experience in conducting stated preference choice experiments in a range of sectors outside of travel and health. Some of these include post and communications and other regulated consumer services.

The aim of this work is to explore responses of consumers to policy interventions. It also helps policymakers understand and quantify the value of new goods and services in these domains.

Featured Research

  • Estimating the Value of Mobile Telephony in Mobile Network 'Not-Spots'

    Around 80,000 premises in the UK are located in areas without mobile phone coverage – referred to as “not-spots”. Residents and businesses in these areas would be willing to pay for a mobile phone signal, according to RAND Europe research. Further, these areas may not be sustainable in the longer term without a signal, due to the negative impacts on business profits.

Selected Research

  • Book Offers Expert Overview of Choice Modelling

    08 Sep 2014

    Choice modelling is a key tool for the understanding of behaviour and is used to support decision making in fields such as transportation, health economics, environmental analysis and marketing. The Handbook of Choice Modelling — edited by Andrew Daly and composed of contributions from Daly, Peter Burge, and other senior figures in the field — provides an authoritative and in-depth overview of the essential topics related to choice modelling.

  • Modelling the Demand for Postal Products

    17 Jun 2014

    The UK postal market has changed significantly over recent years with the introduction of greater competition and the development of new postal products. Royal Mail has commissioned RAND Europe to undertake choice modelling research to gain a more detailed understanding of how business customers choose different products under current, and a range of possible future, market conditions.

  • Factors Influencing Students' Choice of University in England

    12 Jun 2014

    RAND Europe used choice experiments to provide fresh empirical evidence on the relative influence of tuition fee levels and other factors on the decisions of those choosing between universities. Employment prospects, living expenses, university location, course quality and tuition fees were all important.

  • Measuring the Public Acceptability of Population-Level Interventions to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

    28 May 2014

    Public acceptability influences policy action, but the most acceptable policies are not always the most effective. The findings of a discrete-choice experiment suggest that public acceptability of alcohol interventions is dependent on both the nature of the policy and its expected effectiveness. Policy-makers struggling to mobilise support for hitherto unpopular but promising policies should consider giving greater prominence to their expected outcomes.

  • Consumers' Responsiveness to Alcohol Multi-buy Sales Promotions

    22 Jul 2013

    Multi-buy promotions have a large impact on which alcohol products consumers purchase, according to stated-preference research by RAND Europe for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The overall impact on all alcohol purchasing is somewhat smaller, though still substantial: Moderate drinkers are more likely to be swayed by these promotions, but because hazardous and harmful drinkers purchase much higher volumes of alcohol, the absolute impact on these groups is higher.

  • Measuring Consumer Preferences for Postal Services

    05 Apr 2013

    When it comes to European postal services, it is clear that different market segments have different needs. RAND Europe, in conjunction with Accent and Swiss Economics, undertook a study for the European Commission to help identify consumer needs in relation to postal services. Among the conclusions: big business valued letter services more than did small and medium enterprises or the public, whereas all consumers valued parcel services as well as high levels of reliability and low levels of loss. The research was conducted using stated preference experiments in three countries.

  • Do Attitudes Affect Choices, or Vice Versa?

    19 Aug 2011

    Growing interest in the use of models that recognise the role of individuals' attitudes and perceptions in choice behaviour has influenced a team of RAND Europe researchers to examine the latent nature of attitudes. In an article in Transportation they present an application of jointly estimated attitudinal and choice models to a real-world transport study, looking at the role of latent attitudes in a rail travel context. The result of their work is an ordered logit structure that explains how the choices people make may be strongly influenced by their attitudes, but that the choices also say something about those attitudes.

  • How Much Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

    28 Feb 2011

    To combat climate change, the British government has thus far valued the cost of carbon emissions based on how much people should pay, rather than how much they are willing to pay, or the value they place on carbon emissions reduction. An analysis of a series of RAND Europe studies suggests there is an opportunity for a large consumer surplus — a social benefit — by introducing a carbon tax to pay for the damages caused by carbon emissions.