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Informational Shocks and Street-Food Safety: A Field Study in Urban India

Street-food safety is a public health concern in several developing countries. We investigate whether improvements in food safety can be achieved by providing information to vendors in the form of a train- ing. Among randomly assigned groups of street-food vendors in urban Kolkata, India, we find large improvements in knowledge and awareness, but little changes in their observed behaviors. We provide suggestive evidence that a combination of both lack of demand for food safety and perceived high costs of hygiene practices for vendors, are likely to drive the results. We conclude that information is not the key constraint in this context.

Daniele, G., Mookerjee, S. and Tommasi, D., 2018. Informational shocks and street-food safety: A field study in urban India. Review of Economics and Statistics, pp.1-47.