A Public Choice theory of Chinese food

Seth Roberts, citing Jennifer 8 Lee, writes:

Why did Chinese immigrants to America start so many restaurants? Because Chinese cuisine is glorious, right? Well, no. Chinese immigrants started a lot of laundries, too, and there is nothing wonderful about Chinese ways of washing clothes. As Jennifer Lee explains in this excellent talk, the first Chinese immigrants were laborers. They were taking jobs away from American men, and this caused problems. Restaurants and laundries were much safer immigrant jobs because cooking and cleaning were women’s work.

By the way, here is some work on immigrant complementarity with native labor.  George Borjas rebuts.


Comments for this post are closed