Consumer Choice in the Third World: A study of the welfare by Jeffrey James

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In practice, however, one will often be interested in the perception by many individuals of a whole set of products according to numerous characteristics -that is, where the data are multidimensional. The effect of multidimensionality will often be that the relationships between elements of the data become obscure and difficult to discern. Multidimensional scaling techniques enable the researcher to discover relationships which would otherwise lie hidden in a complex matrix of empirical data. 12 This general problem can perhaps be best illustrated by assuming that one is presented with a map showing the locations of major cities in the United Kingdom and asked to determine the distances between them.

The characteristics framework is also better suited to assessing the welfare impact of new products than the traditional approach. Chapter 7 describes how the framework can be used to estimate the welfare effects of introducing new products in developing countries. In chapter 8 a case study of a particular new product is presented. NOTES AND REFERENCES l. H. Simon, 'From Substantive to Procedural Rationality', in F. Hahn and M. ) Philosophy and Economic Theory (Oxford University Press, 1979) p.

In the second stage the extent to which these perceived differences between characteristics are systematically related to advertising is analysed, among other means, by comparing them, where perceived characteristics are measurable, with the actual differences according to objective tests. This chapter deals with the methodological problems of the first of these stages -with the problems, that is, of how the perception of product characteristics by individuals is to be measured and analysed. Resolution of these measurement difficulties is the essential first step in the exercise as a whole.

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