Cooking or Clicking: The Impact of Online Food Delivery Platforms on Domestic Food Preparation

44 Pages Posted: 3 May 2021

See all articles by Yash Babar

Yash Babar

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ali Adeli

University of Memphis - Department of Management Information Systems

Brad N. Greenwood

George Mason University - School of Business

Date Written: April 25, 2021

Abstract

One of the most notable developments of the sharing economy is the unfettered proliferation of on-demand services. In this work, we examine how a subset of such platforms, online food delivery (e.g., Grubhub, UberEats, Doordash), has affected a particularly important household activity, meal preparation, and the dining behaviors of American households. To do so, we exploit the phased entry of the platform Grubhub into US counties from 2005 to 2019 using a difference in difference approach. Results indicate that the availability of an increasingly diversified delivery service leads to a significant reduction in time spent preparing meals within the home. Further, and alarmingly, we find that this impact is associated with an increase in the average BMI of affected persons, suggesting an unfavorable dietary shift from healthier home cooking to unhealthier food away from home consumption. We discuss implications for research, consumers, platforms, and public policymakers.

Keywords: Online Food Delivery, Cooking, Population Health, Food Sourcing, Grubhub, Nutrition, Difference in Difference

JEL Classification: I31,I18, R20, I12

Suggested Citation

Babar, Yash and Adeli, Ali and Greenwood, Brad, Cooking or Clicking: The Impact of Online Food Delivery Platforms on Domestic Food Preparation (April 25, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3833938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3833938

Ali Adeli

University of Memphis - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

3720 Alumni Ave
Memphis, TN 38152
United States

Brad Greenwood

George Mason University - School of Business ( email )

VA 22030
United States

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