banner with background of pixels with varying opacities and a headshot of Dave Frisvold

Research Development Seminar Series: Dave Frisvold

December 7, 2022
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
008 Public Policy Research Building

Chain Restaurant Calorie Posting Laws, Obesity, and Consumer Welfare

This paper investigates whether and why calorie-posting laws for chain restaurants work. We develop a model of calories consumed that highlights two potential channels through which these laws influence choice and that outlines an empirical strategy to disentangle these alternatives. We test the predictions of our model using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on body mass index (BMI) and consumer well-being. Viewed in its totality, our results are consistent with an economic model in which calorie labels influence consumers both by providing information and by imposing a welfare-reducing moral cost (or feelings of guilt) on unhealthy eating.

Dave Frisvold is the director of the Social and Education Policy Research Program at the PPC and an associate professor in the Department of Economics. His research examines whether and how public policies influence health and outcomes, with a particular focus on policies targeted toward children. Frisvold is currently a co-editor at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and an associate editor at Economics and Human Biology.

This event is free and open to the public and will be available via Zoom. Lunch is provided!

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Dragana Petic at