Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Stars War in French Gastronomy: Prestige of Restaurants and Chefs’ Careers

Gergaud, Olivier and Smeets, Valérie and Warzynski, Frédéric (2010): Stars War in French Gastronomy: Prestige of Restaurants and Chefs’ Careers.

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Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the careers from a sample of more than 1,000 top French chefs over more than twenty years and link it to the success or reputation of the restaurants where they have worked. This allows us to test what are the determinants of success but also to investigate the dynamics of performance and reputation, stressing the importance of the quality of apprenticeships, mentoring and entrepreneurship spirit. We find that the prestige of the restaurant where individuals work is on average declining along the career, and that the quality of apprenticeship is strongly related to the future success as chef. We also find that prices of restaurants with higher reputation are more sensitive to bad signals.

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