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A conceptual and empirical framework to analyze the economics of consumer food waste

Drabik, D., de Gorter, H. & Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 (2019). A conceptual and empirical framework to analyze the economics of consumer food waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 149, pp. 500-509. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.06.008


We develop a microeconomic model to understand food waste of consumers. We capture at-home and away-from home food consumption and distinguish between food purchases and food consumption. We allow the consumer to choose the rate of food waste at home optimally to maximize her utility. We show that consumer purchases can decline or increase with a cut in the rate of consumer waste, depending on the elasticity of food demand. Using the UK data for poultry in 2012, we also show a case where for a price elastic demand food consumption increases with a reduction in the food waste rate, but food purchases (retail sales) increase.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher Keywords: Economic model; Food waste; Consumption; Consumer purchases; Effective consumption price; Downstream
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
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