We study the economic causes and consequences of the recent explosion in gourmet food trucks. We argue that 1) new mobile communication technology enabled food truck growth by relaxing an information friction complicating their business model and 2) that an important advantage of food trucks over brick-and-mortar restaurants is that trucks can use mobility to capitalize on consumers’ taste-for-variety. We use novel data from the internet, including food trucks’ real-time Twitter feeds, to support our theory. We also provide evidence suggesting that the growth in food trucks has increased social surplus for urban consumers by increasing access to food variety.While simultaneously angering the restaurateurs who've invested large bucks in one location. Though we doubt there's much real competition between the two.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Uber over to the tacos
Since they're so easy to find these days, say Anenberg and Kung;