University of Maryland, College Park

To compile, study, and openly distribute a nationally standardized database of government health inspectors' restaurant ratings

  • Amount $465,272
  • City College Park, MD
  • Investigator Benjamin Bederson
  • Year 2011
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

Funds from this grant support a project by Benjamin Bederson, Ginger Jin, and Phillip Leslie to compile, compare, and curate restaurant health inspection datasets so that they can be freely used by consumers and researchers in many cities across the U.S. The undertaking will involve reconciling the different laws, rating systems, and ranking criteria that preponderate across differing municipal, county, and state jurisdictions, as well as combining large amounts of data collected under varying formats, standards, and protocols. When completed, Bederson, Jin, and Leslie's efforts will not only render health inspection information easier for consumers to access and interpret but also provide a robust dataset for use by economists, sociologists, and other researchers interested in the efficacy of regulation and its effect on behavior.

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