Knowledge-based services and economic development: Contributions to growth and resilience in European regions

Andrew Johnston, Robert Huggins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


According to most economists, quality uncertainty is the result of information asymmetry between sellers and buyers. This chapter distinguishes two forms of quality uncertainty, namely quality uncertainty due to information asymmetry and uncertainty about what constitutes quality. It focuses on the second form of quality uncertainty and discusses how it is reduced in the Amsterdam restaurant market. Bourdieu's analysis of the economy of symbolic goods helps us understand how the restaurant market works. Standardisation implies predictability and reduction of quality uncertainty at a large geographical scale but diversification, on the other hand, increases quality uncertainty at the local scale as well as, to some extent, at supra-local scale. Consumers play also an important role in the social construction of quality in the field of restaurants. A growing importance of high-quality food and a diversification of restaurants according to various cuisines suggest a growing importance of symbolic criteria compared to economic criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobalisation and Services-Driven Economic Growth
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from the Global North and South
EditorsNiels Beerepoot, Bart Lambregts, Jana Kleibert
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781317127185, 9781315585055
ISBN (Print)9781472470133, 9780367668143
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe Dynamics of Economic Space

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