Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Arthur Caplan

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Sherzod Akhundjanov

Third Advisor:

Ryan Bosworth

Abstract

In 1993, a travel study was conducted along the Wasatch front in Utah (Research Systems Group INC, 2013). The main purpose of this study was to assess travel behavior to understand the needs for future growth in Utah. Since then, the Research Service Group (RSG), conducted a new study in 2012 to understand current travel preferences in Utah. This survey, called the Residential Choice Stated Preference survey, asked respondents to make ten choice comparisons between two hypothetical homes. Each home in the choice comparison was described by different attributes, those attributes that were used are, type of neighborhood, distance from important destinations, distance from access to public transport, street design, parking availability, commute distance to work, and price. The survey was designed to determine the extent to which Utah residents prefer alternative household attributes in a choice selection. Each attribute contained multiple characteristic levels that were randomly combined to define each alternative home in each choice comparison. Those choices can be explained by Random Utility Theory. Multinomial logistic regression will be used to estimate changes in utility when alternative attribute levels are present in a choice comparison. Using the coefficient estimate for price, a marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for each attribute level will be calculated. This paper will use two different approaches to obtain MWTP estimates. Method One will use housing and rent price to recode the price variable in dollar terms as defined in the discrete choice experiment. Method Two will recode the price variable as an average ten percent change in home value to extrapolate a one-time payment for homes. As a result, we found that it is possible to obtain willingness to pay estimates using both methods. The resulting interpretations in dollar terms became more relatable. Metropolitan planning organization can use these results to understand how residents perceive home value in dollar terms in the context of location-based attributes for homes.

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