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Discrete choice analysis of health worker job preferences in Ethiopia: separating attribute non-attendance from taste heterogeneity

Arora, Nikita, Quaife, Matthew, Hanson, Kara, Lagarde, Mylène ORCID: 0000-0002-5713-2659, Woldesenbet, Dorka, Seifu, Abiy and Crastes dit Sourd, Romain (2022) Discrete choice analysis of health worker job preferences in Ethiopia: separating attribute non-attendance from taste heterogeneity. Health Economics. ISSN 1057-9230

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Identification Number: 10.1002/hec.4475


When measuring preferences, discrete choice experiments (DCEs) typically assume that respondents consider all available information before making decisions. However, many respondents often only consider a subset of the choice characteristics, a heuristic called attribute non-attendance (ANA). Failure to account for ANA can bias DCE results, potentially leading to flawed policy recommendations. While conventional latent class logit models have most commonly been used to assess ANA in choices, these models are often not flexible enough to separate non-attendance from respondents’ low valuation of certain attributes, resulting in inflated rates of ANA. In this paper, we show that semi-parametric mixtures of latent class models can be used to disentangle successfully inferred non-attendance from respondent’s ‘weaker’ taste sensitivities for certain attributes. In a DCE on the job preferences of health workers in Ethiopia, we demonstrate that such models provide more reliable estimates of inferred non-attendance than the alternative methods currently used. Moreover, since we find statistically significant variation in the rates of ANA exhibited by different health worker cadres, we highlight the need for well-defined attributes in a DCE, to ensure that ANA does not result from a weak experimental design.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s).
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C0 - General > C01 - Econometrics
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C3 - Econometric Methods: Multiple; Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables; Endogenous Regressors > C35 - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models
D - Microeconomics > D0 - General > D01 - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D80 - General
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 14:51
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 21:30

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