Please join the Competitive Enterprise Institute for a lively lunch discussion with Professor Tony Gill. The time-honored tradition of tipping wait staff at restaurants has come under fire recently, both in the private marketplace and the voting booth. Several restaurants have chosen to provide their employees with a “living wage” in lieu of having customers leave gratuities. Moreover, the passage of I-77 in Washington, DC raising baseline wages of wait staff will put pressure on eating establishments to downplay tipping. Prof. Gill argues that although tipping may be an unpopular practice, it is an efficient institution that benefits restaurant owners, employees, and customers. He demonstrates how gratuities solve principal-agent problems and allow for voluntary price discrimination that allows eateries to reach a broader customer base. Moreover, the custom of tipping is one ritualistic source of building trust within society that lubricates the wheels of commerce.
Anthony Gill (Ph.D. UCLA; B.A. Marquette) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, a Distinguished Research Scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for the Study of Religion, and former research associate at the Religious Freedom Project (Georgetown’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs). He is the author of Rendering Unto Caesar (Chicago) and The Political Origins of Religious Liberty (Cambridge). The latter book won the American Sociological Association’s Section on Religion’s Distinguished Book Award. While still writing on religious liberty, Prof. Gill’s current research agenda is shifting to understanding the role of local norms in coordinating human behavior (as opposed to government regulation). Tony is also collaborating on a book with a former student entitled Greekonomics: How Economics Explains Fraternities and Sororities.  He teaches courses in political economy, public choice, and religion & politics, and earned the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. Tony also enjoys boxing, hiking, scuba diving, camping, fantasy football, Golden Retrievers, billiards, target shooting, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and all things cowboy. His favorite color is royal blue and will consider you a friend forever if you buy him a bourbon with one (big) ice cube.  


Thursday, September 20, 2018
12:00 – 1:30 PM


The Competitive Enterprise Institute
1310 L St NW, 7th floor
Washington, DC 20005

To RSVP please contact Amanda France
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202.331.2764

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