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Inspection Technology, Detection and Compliance: Evidence from Florida Restaurant Inspections

  • Ginger Zhe Jin
  • Jungmin Lee

In this article, we show that a small innovation in inspection technology can make substantial differences in inspection outcomes. For restaurant hygiene inspections, the state of Florida has introduced a handheld electronic device, the portable digital assistant (PDA), which reminds inspectors of 1,000 potential violations that may be checked for. Using inspection records from July 2003 to June 2009, we find that the adoption of PDA led to 11% more detected violations and subsequently restaurants may have gradually increased their compliance efforts. We also find that PDA use is significantly correlated with a reduction in restaurant-related foodborne disease outbreaks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18939.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Publication status: published as Inspection technology, detection, and compliance: evidence from Florida restaurant inspections Ginger Zhe Jin1 andJungmin Lee2 The RAND Journal of Economics Volume 45, Issue 4, pages 885–917, Winter 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18939
Note: IO
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  1. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Jean Tirole, 1985. "Procurement and Renegotiation," Working papers 362, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Luis Garicano & Paul Heaton, 2007. "Information Technology, Organization, and Productivity in the Public Sector: Evidence from Police Departments," CEP Discussion Papers dp0826, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, 05.
  8. Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1991. "An Econometric Analysis of Income Tax Evasion and its Detection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 14-35, Spring.
  9. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Hitt, Lorin M., 2004. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," Working papers 4210-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2006. "Time to Eat: Household Production under Increasing Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1965, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ginger Zhe Jin & Jungmin Lee, 2014. "A Tale of Repetition: Lessons from Florida Restaurant Inspections," NBER Working Papers 20596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
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