Nudging healthy food consumption and sustainability in food deserts
The purpose of this paper is to set forth a theoretical model of consumer decision-making in food desert regions, where healthy food is in short supply. Our model enables theoretical comparison of multiple policy approaches to mitigating food deserts that have heretofore been considered separately: taxing less healthy food, subsidizing healthier food, correcting misperceptions of the cost of food choices, and subsidizing creation of community and home gardens. This latter policy approach enables consumers to achieve higher rates of food security and health benefits, while strengthening the sustainability and resiliency of local urban ecological-economic systems.
KeywordsConsumer misperception Food desert Food security Sustainable agriculture Urban gardens
JEL ClassificationI14 Health and Inequality R58 Regional Development: Planning and Policy Q56 Environment and Development; Sustainability; Environmental Equity
We thank Editor Henk Folmer and two anonymous reviewers for several comments and suggestions that improved our paper. We also thank Professor Amit Batabyal; session participants at the 2013 New York State Economics Association annual meeting (particularly our discussant, Professor Wisdom Akpalu); and session participants at the 2014 Midwest Economics Association annual meeting (particularly our discussant, Roy Wada) for comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this project.
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