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A Discussion of “Using Angler Characteristics and Attitudinal Data to Identify Environmental Preference Classes: A Latent-Class Model”

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In the current issue of Environmental and Resource Economics, Morey et al. (2006) discuss a new approach to using attitudinal data in latent class modeling. We compare this approach with the one taken in Boxall and Adamowicz (2002), in the context of a discrete choice, random utility framework with heterogeneous preferences. We derive the respective likelihood functions of the two approaches to show that they are structurally similar, and discuss their implications for the use of attitudinal data. We conclude with a discussion comparing the relative merits of latent class and random parameters (mixed logit) modeling, offering the view that as a practical matter, choosing between them depends on the analyst’s judgment about the correlation of preference parameters.

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