Abstract

We investigate whether improvements in street-food safety can be achieved by providing information to vendors in the form of a training. Among randomly assigned vendors in Kolkata, India, we find large improvements in knowledge and awareness, but little change in observed behavior. We provide two main explanations for these findings. First, information acquisition by itself does not make it significantly easier for vendors to provide customers with safer food options. Second, although consumers have a positive willingness to pay for perceived hygiene, they struggle to distinguish between safe and contaminated food. We recommend policies targeting supply-side constraints and consumers' awareness.

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