AAWE, Economics Dept, New York University, 19 W 4th St, 6Fl., New York NY 10012aawe@wine-economics.org

AAWE Working Paper No. 183 – Economics

Effect of Information on Consumer Perception: Evidence from Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards in
New York City

Danyang Kang

Abstract

This study examines the effects of increasing provision of hygiene quality information on consumer assessment of restaurant quality. In July 2010 New York City introduced mandatory hygiene grade cards to be displayed in restaurants. I show that both an A grade and better inspection scores are correlated with higher ratings in food, decor, service and price, with the former having a larger impact. These results suggest that consumers give much credence to the information provided byhygiene grade cards but the underlying scores might not reflect the true hygiene quality of restaurants.

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