Retail price discrimination and food waste

Timothy J. Richards, Stephen F. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We examine a food retailer's incentive to use a minimum quality standard as part of a quality-based price-discrimination strategy and show how price discrimination can result in a substantial level of retail food waste. Using data from a major US food retailer, we estimate a structural model of retail price discrimination and conduct a series of counter-factual experiments to demonstrate that observed retail prices are consistent with quality-based price discrimination in the retail market. Our findings indicate that quality standards on fresh produce can explain a substantial proportion ($7.5\%$) of food waste by retailers in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1861-1896
Number of pages36
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • food retailing
  • food waste
  • price discrimination
  • retail prices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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