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Abstract

This paper proposes a novel economic-psychological model of individual food consumption and food waste that recognizes individuals as social and moral beings who are boundedly rational and have limited capacity for self-control. The model identifies five components of individuals’ utility that correspond to five modes of being or selves: the hedonic agent, the social agent, the moral agent, the health-conscious agent and the habits-driven agent. In the model, individuals maximize this composite utility given their budget and effort constraints. We apply the model to analyze policies that can support the adoption of sustainable food consumption practices.

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