Working Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics 2011-21
We present a field study of social learning. The setting is a pair of adjacent fast food restaurants serving very similar cuisine whose main clientele are the students at a nearby major university. We observed whether an uninformed customer's choice of restaurant depends on the relative queue lengths at the two restaurants. Observations were made at two separate observation periods, the start of the academic year, when a significant proportion of customers had little or no experience with either restaurant, and the middle of the year, when most customers already had previous experience with the restaurants. It is found, consistent with the social learning hypothesis, that relative queue length has a significant effect at the first period but not at the second.