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Three essays on producer response to information disclosure

Abstract

This dissertation consists of three chapters studying how information and beliefs affect producers' behavior and decision making. The first chapter studies the effect of the Local Inspector Value Entry Specification (LIVES) program on restaurant hygiene in North Carolina. The LIVES Program, a collaboration between Yelp.com and municipalities, enables the display of restaurant inspection reports on Yelp's platform, simplifying access for consumers. Combining individual restaurant inspection data and restaurant level demographic data from Yelp.com, this study employs a difference-in-difference approach and geographic regression discontinuity design to analyze the LIVES program's impact on restaurant hygiene. The difference-in-difference analysis reveals a 1.143-point improvement in inspection scores for treated restaurants. The geographic regression discontinuity method, utilizing a neighboring county as a control group, corroborates the LIVES program's positive influence. The second chapter examines the effect of online consumer reviews on restaurant workers' wages. Online consumer reviews significantly influence the demand for experience goods, including movies, books, and restaurant meals. However, research on the impact of online reviews on restaurant workers' wages remains scarce. Utilizing decade-long panel data of quarterly consumer reviews and restaurant wages, this study demonstrates that an increase in average star ratings causes restaurant workers' wage growth. Notably, the effect varies across chain, major chain, and independent restaurants. The final chapter studies how Colorado farmers' and ranchers' subjective beliefs about the cost of adoption affect their intention to implement conservation practices. Promoting the adoption of conservation practices among farmers is challenging. Despite extensive research into farmers' reluctance to participate in conservation programs, few studies investigated how farmers' personal beliefs on the cost of adopting conservation practices affect their willingness to participate in those programs. This study adds to the literature by surveying over 150 Colorado farmers on their preferences for monetary and technical support regarding conservation tillage, soil testing, filter and buffer strips, and controlled-release fertilizers. Results from a choice experiment indicate that respondents' beliefs about costs can explain a large portion of the variation in farmers' willingness to adopt conservation practices.

Description

Includes bibliographical references.
2023 Fall.

Rights Access

Subject

consumer reviews
conservation adoption
information disclosure

Citation

Associated Publications