Combining discrete and continuous representations of preference heterogeneity: a latent class approach
Angel Bujosa Bestard
Antoni Riera Font
Robert L. Hicks
This paper investigates heterogeneity in preferences for forest recreators in Mallorca, Spain. We develop a latent class approach combining discrete and continuous representations of tastes and compare it with the conventional latent class and random parameter logit approaches. We investigate the performance of the discrete-continuous model by comparing welfare estimates and predictive accuracy. The discrete-continuous model outperforms latent class and mixed logit approaches when comparing goodness-of-fit and in- sample site-choice forecasts. We find that the discrete-continuous model for preference heterogeneity reveals variation among individuals' preferences and WTP, and for some policy changes our results reveal striking differences in means and distributions of WTP.
Travel Cost Method, latent class model, random parameter model, recreation demand, forests
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