A MELTING POT OF CUISINES: EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESTAURANT ETHNICITIES AND FOOD SAFETY INSPECTION SCORES
Thompson, Jeffrey P
Past research has determined using simple summary statistics that non-American, or “ethnic” restaurants score lower on their food safety inspections, even though they are not inspected significantly more often. Using a variety of regression techniques, I find ethnicity is endogenous with a number of other explanatory factors, most notably restaurant wealth, where non-American restaurants tend to have lower prices, rendering them less able to comply with food safety codes. Past literature has also hypothesized that inspectors are biased against ethnic restaurants, due to lack of understanding with different cultures’ cuisines. On the contrary, I find evidence that inspectors are benevolent to restaurants of all types, in that they are more likely to move restaurants on the cusp of a higher or lower inspection grade, into the higher category.
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