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Stars War in French Gastronomy: Prestige of Restaurants and Chefs’ Careers


  • Gergaud, Olivier
  • Smeets, Valérie
  • Warzynski, Frédéric


In this paper, we analyze the careers from a sample of more than 1,000 top French chefs over more than twenty years and link it to the success or reputation of the restaurants where they have worked. This allows us to test what are the determinants of success but also to investigate the dynamics of performance and reputation, stressing the importance of the quality of apprenticeships, mentoring and entrepreneurship spirit. We find that the prestige of the restaurant where individuals work is on average declining along the career, and that the quality of apprenticeship is strongly related to the future success as chef. We also find that prices of restaurants with higher reputation are more sensitive to bad signals.

Suggested Citation

  • Gergaud, Olivier & Smeets, Valérie & Warzynski, Frédéric, 2010. "Stars War in French Gastronomy: Prestige of Restaurants and Chefs’ Careers," MPRA Paper 21045, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21045

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Véronique Chossat & Olivier Gergaud, 2003. "Expert Opinion and Gastronomy: The Recipe for Success," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 27(2), pages 127-141, May.
    2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-862, August.
    3. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358.
    4. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Amit Solomon, 2000. "Security Analysts' Career Concerns and Herding of Earnings Forecasts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 121-144, Spring.
    5. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
    6. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, February.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How to become a successful French chef
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-04-08 19:44:00

    More about this item


    reputation; careeers; gastronomy;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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