Food Policy and Household Food Waste

Stephen F. Hamilton, Timothy J. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Reducing household food waste is an important policy objective. In this paper we examine how equilibrium food waste among households is influenced by food policies designed to increase household food utilization and to alter household food purchasing behavior by adjusting market prices. We demonstrate that policies that reduce the marginal cost of household food utilization and that raise fresh food prices result in greater food waste for households with sufficiently price-elastic demand for fresh food. Policies that raise the processed food prices increase fresh food consumption, but nevertheless reduce food waste, provided that fresh and processed foods are substitutes in utility and the equilibrium food utilization rate in a household is sufficiently high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-614
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Food waste
  • Household behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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