NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Ginger Zhe Jin, Jungmin Lee

NBER Working Paper No. 18939
Issued in April 2013, Revised in October 2014
NBER Program(s):   IO

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18939

Published: 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 citation courtesy of

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