Information Technology and Product Variety in the City: The Case of Food Trucks

62 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015

See all articles by Elliot Anenberg

Elliot Anenberg

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Edward Kung

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Date Written: June 24, 2015

Abstract

Using the food truck industry as the setting, we provide direct evidence for how information technology can complement consumption variety in cities by reducing spatial information frictions associated with locally produced goods. We document the following facts: 1) food trucks use technology to overcome a spatial information friction; 2) proliferation of technology is related to growth in food trucks; 3) food trucks use their mobility to respond to consumer taste-for-variety; and 4) growth in food trucks is positively correlated with growth in food expenditures away from home. Taken together, our results illustrate how information technology can provide a meaningful increase in variety for urban consumers.

Suggested Citation

Anenberg, Elliot and Kung, Edward, Information Technology and Product Variety in the City: The Case of Food Trucks (June 24, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2645968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2645968

Elliot Anenberg (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Edward Kung

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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