Article Text

This article has a correction. Please see:

Download PDFPDF
The influence of a smoking ban on the profitability of Belgian restaurants
  1. Sofie De Schoenmaker,
  2. Philippe Van Cauwenberge,
  3. Heidi Vander Bauwhede
  1. Department of Accountancy and Corporate Finance, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Professor Philippe Van Cauwenberge, Department of Accountancy and Corporate Finance, University of Ghent, Kuiperskaai 55E, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; philippe.vancauwenberge{at}


Objective To examine whether the nationwide smoking ban, imposed in 2007, had an impact on the profitability of Belgian restaurants.

Data and methods Objective financial reporting data on 1613 restaurants were analysed with return on assets as the outcome measure. The data were collected from the Belfirst database and cover the period 2004–2009. To assess the impact of the smoking ban, a differences-in-differences estimation method was used, with bars serving as the control group. The regression model was estimated, while controlling for firm-specific characteristics and unobserved firm-level heterogeneity.

Results The variable of interest is the interaction between the smoking ban dummy and the dummy for the treatment group. The coefficient of this variable is insignificant.

Conclusion The adoption of the nationwide smoking ban did not affect the profitability of Belgian restaurants.

  • Smoking
  • profitability
  • restaurants
  • Belgium
  • economics
  • public policy
  • prevention

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.