Institut für Ernährungswirtschaft und Verbrauchslehre

Dr. Christian Kuhlgatz

Current position: 




PhD Project

Project Description:

A wide range of political measures is applied in developing countries in order to protect people from hunger and malnutrition. The aim of this dissertation is to determine the contribution of various food security policies. In the first study of this work, a new micro-economic model of food security is developed. It shows the impact of the budget restriction on nutrient intake and the resulting consequences for different health dimensions. It demonstrates that the concept of food security also includes that all vital nutrients have to be contemporaneously affordable for an individual. Against this backdrop, typical strategies for improving food security in developing countries are discussed. The second study examines the often pursued strategy to increase local incomes by promoting exports, using Ghana’s agricultural sector as an example. Given that export crop cultivators are quite different from other farmers, econometric methods are applied that attempt to ensure unbiased estimation results. The results show that farmers’ access to financial resources as well as intermediation through state enterprises and co-operatives significantly contribute to export crop cultivation. Export cropping has a positive outcome on the living standard of farm households, but it is an important finding that this effect is non-linear. Large welfare benefits particularly occur at very high levels of export crop specialization. In cases when poor regions face severe food shortages, the controversial policy instrument of food aid is often used. Given the necessity of quick and targeted action in emergency situations, the third and fourth parts of this dissertation analyze different aspects of donors’ food aid allocation. In the third study, the determinants of food aid allocation from six major donors are investigated. For all donors, the amount of food aid is consistently sent to poorer countries, but also depends on shipped food aid from previous year. A particular focus of this study is on the coordination of food aid. The system-estimation approach employed in this study reveals that there is significant positive interaction between all donor countries. The fourth study extends earlier analyses on food aid allocation by examining the donors’ supply of vital nutrients (dietary energy, iron, vitamin A and zinc). Furthermore, an econometric method is used that takes into account the unobserved heterogeneity of recipient countries and avoids making typical restrictive assumption. The results show that the observed donor (USA) allocates nutrients towards populations with high nutritional demand and tight budgetary constraints. However, donor interests and media bias are prevalent in different parts of US food aid, and significant management problems are found.


Link: An Econometric Analysis of Policy Measures for Improving Food Security and Welfare in Developing Countries