Till Ludwig

Research themes
  • Growth, inequality and poverty
  • Economic change and vulnerability
Research countries
  • Bangladesh
  • India
Research topic
Nutrition behavior in risky environments
Professional experience

Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Heinrich Böll Foundation


MS Agricultural Economics, University of Arkansas

MSc Rural Development, Ghent University / Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

BA Political Science and Economics, University of Bremen


Walter-Flex-Str. 3

53113 Bonn


Thesis title

Determinants of diet quality of vulnerable groups in risky environments

Thesis abstract

The literature reveals that the probability of having a sufficient calorie intake is related to various social, economic and political factors. Recent cross-sectional analyses indicate similar results for dietary diversity. However, evidence on changes over time and, to a certain extent, evidence on the impact of shocks is missing since it goes beyond the scope of any cross-sectional study. Yet, it is crucial for understanding consumption patterns. Accounting for trends and shocks is also essential for analyzing the resilience of dietary quality. This study will therefore focus on disentangling the observable and unobservable determinants of individual dietary quality. That entails individual information (micro-level), social interaction (meso-level) and economic and environmental influences (macro-level).

The primary geographic focus is proposed to be on rural areas in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India. It is aimed for a comparative study between the two regions. The group of interest are smallholder farming households that are particularly prone to environmental risks. Children under 5 and women of reproductive age are the research subjects. This study will utilize existing food and nutrition security data that has been collected over multiple waves. A survey on social interaction and on economic preferences as well as potential additional nutritional status surveys will complement the existing data. The research objective will be accomplished by utilizing primarily econometric methods.

The findings will indicate the magnitude of impacts that the determinants have on diet quality of vulnerable groups. The direct impact of seasonality on nutrition will be estimated as well as the impact of certain shocks. Finally, the resilience of dietary intake can be evaluated via the identified determinants. This study will therefore add to the literature by utilizing longitudinal datasets for analyzing the impact of observable determinants on diet quality, by estimating the impact of latent determinants on diet quality, and by improving the methodology of existing studies. The results can guide interventions that aim for improving the nutrition of vulnerable groups.


Doctoral research funded by

Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Dr. Hermann Eiselen Ph.D. Grant of Foundation fiat panis

Supervisors of
doctoral work
Advisor at ZEF

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Till Ludwig

Junior Researcher


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