Handbook of Choice Modelling
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Handbook of Choice Modelling

Edited by Stephane Hess and Andrew Daly

Choice modelling is an increasingly important technique for forecasting and valuation, with applications in fields such as transportation, health and environmental economics. For this reason it has attracted attention from leading academics and practitioners and methods have advanced substantially in recent years. This Handbook, composed of contributions from senior figures in the field, summarises the essential analytical techniques and discusses the key current research issues. It will be of interest to academics, students and practitioners in a wide range of areas.
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Chapter 26: Deciding how to decide: an agenda for multi-stage choice modelling research in marketing

Joffre Swait and Fred Feinberg


The need to focus on consumer and organizational choice is at the very core of marketing practice and academia. Ultimately, both the tactical and strategic spheres of marketing revolve around the question of what product and service choices decision makers will exercise: product design, pricing, promotion and distribution decisions by the individual firm must necessarily be guided by market demand, itself the aggregation of myriad choices made in the midst of a specific market context/structure. As the discipline has matured, it is natural that our scope has broadened widely, perhaps to the detriment of maintaining a crisp focus on the issue of consumer (writ large) choice modeling. One of the consequences of this broader focus has been the somewhat less than critical adoption of the microeconomic consumer model1 as an overarching framework for modeling choice behavior. The external affirmation granted by the ubiquitous use of the homo economicus construct in other disciplines (for example, transportation planning, geography, applied economics – health, environmental, labor, urban, transport, inter alia), the simplicity (even elegance) of its representation, and the ease of its implementation in measurement frameworks, have all contributed to legitimizing the widespread use of this account of decision-making. Here, we expound on a specific and, in our view, underexamined aspect of this model of consumer behavior: that it postulates an essentially single-stage view of consumer decision-making. Taking a step back, however, the marketing discipline has contributed.

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