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The apple and your eye: Visual and taste rank-ordered probit analysis with correlated errors.

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Schechter, L. (2010). Food Quality and Preference Volume: 21, Issue: 1, 112-120.

I look at data from an experiment in which people rank apples according to how they think they will taste. They are then blindfolded and rank how they actually taste. I estimate a multinomial rank-ordered probit model with correlated errors between the taste and visual rankings. I find that the errors for visual characteristics are correlated based on coloring, while the errors for taste are correlated based on sweetness and tartness. Allowing for correlation between the errors in the two regressions shows that, although people often misperceive apple taste based upon visual cues, they do so in systematic ways. People who prefer the looks of an apple they think to be tart (Granny Smith), will like the taste of other apples which are also tart but less well-known (Jonagold).

Keywords: Rank-ordered probit; Apples; Experiment; Stated preference; Revealed preference; Marketing.

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