How, when and why integrated choice and latent variable models are latently useful

Integrated Choice and Latent Variable (ICLV) models are an increasingly popular extension to discrete choice models that attempt explicitly to model the cognitive process underlying the formation of any choice. This study was born from the discovery that an ICLV model can in many cases be reduced to a choice model without latent variables that fits the choice data at least as well as the original ICLV model from which it was obtained. The failure of past studies to recognize this fact raised concerns about other benefits that have been claimed with regards to the framework. With the objective of addressing these concerns, this study undertakes a systematic comparison between the ICLV model and an appropriately specified reduced form choice model. The authors derive analytical proofs regarding the benefits of the framework and use synthetic datasets to corroborate any conclusions drawn from the analytical proofs. The authors find that the ICLV model can under certain conditions lead to an improvement in the analyst's ability to predict outcomes to the choice data, allow for the identification of structural relationships between observable and latent variables, correct for bias arising from omitted variables and measurement error, reduce the variance of parameter estimates, and abet practice and policy, all in ways that would not be possible using the reduced form choice model. The authors synthesize these findings into a general process of evaluation that can be used to assess what gains, if any, might be had from developing an ICLV model in a particular empirical context.


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  • Accession Number: 01605426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 1 2016 1:43PM