Abstract

In 1908, an unpublished investigation by the French government discovered a number of commercial kitchens that violated the 1903 law regarding hygiene and security in the workplace. A linear-probability model shows that restaurants in tourist neighborhoods were 12 percentage points more likely to transgress sanitary regulations than those in non-tourist areas. Many of the kitchens in the expensive restaurants of central Paris were in basements where they lacked fresh air, sunlight, and efficient waste evacuation. Clientele also mattered as a determinant of insalubrity. Local repeat customers whose loyalty depended on constant restaurant standards tended to exert more pressure on sanitation than did tourists who based their choices on culinary reputation, such as recommendations in Baedeker’s travel guide.

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