Category Archives: Economics of Dining

Relative rates of fraud

About 21% of delivery customers worry the driver may have nibbled their order en route—and with good reason, according to a new study of delivery gripes. Some 28% of drivers say they were unable to resist taking a bite. Here … Continue reading

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Dining out as cultural trade

By Joel Waldfogel, here is the abstract: Perceptions of Anglo-American dominance in movie and music trade motivate restrictions on cultural trade. Yet, the market for another cultural good, food at restaurants, is roughly ten times larger than the markets for … Continue reading

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What is the optimal tax rate on restaurants?

bhauth asks me: What do you think the optimal tax rate on restaurants would be? The current rates seem high to me: 1) The marginal substitution rate between restaurants and cooking at home is high. 2) Cooking at home uses … Continue reading

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Inegalitarian restaurants

Or maybe you’re a senior staffer for Steve Scalise, the second-ranking Republican in the House. The aide usually pings his usual server for one of his usual perches: table 10 in the main dining room. It’s the corner booth with … Continue reading

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Do minimum wage hikes get rid of bad restaurants?

We study the impact of the minimum wage on firm exit in the restaurant industry, exploiting recent changes in the minimum wage at the city level. We find that the impact of the minimum wage depends on whether a restaurant … Continue reading

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The meaning of death, from an economist’s point of view

A few days ago Garett Jones came to my office door and asked “what do we really know about labor supply?” I said we might as well extend the query to labor demand. In any case, here was part of … Continue reading

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Do land use restrictions increase restaurant quality and diversity?

Daniel Shoag and Stan Veuger say yes, but I am not so convinced. It turns out that metrics of land use restrictions are correlated with restaurant quality, across cities. To cut to the chase, Los Angeles ranks number one on … Continue reading

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Lessons from the Washington, D.C. dining scene

Can One Chef’s Approach to Global Fine Dining Catch on in Washington D.C.? Contrary to what many people will insist, it’s now possible to eat excellent Mexican food, including tacqueria-style tacos, in D.C., Northern Virginia and nearby Maryland. But this … Continue reading

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Is there a restaurant bubble?

Mostly not, here is a good article by Maura Judkis. Here is part of the chat with me: What’s happening is something that some restaurateurs may not want to hear: Competition in an already-tough business is getting even tougher. Cowen … Continue reading

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Food consumption now has higher entry barriers than does music consumption

Marco Bresba emails me: I loved your post on how Food has displaced Music in pop culture (March 29) I’ve been thinking about the topic for years, and I believe complacency is pertinent. Musical taste (like one’s taste in wine, … Continue reading

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