Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Thaer-Institute | Resource Economics | Research challenges | Problem dimensions | World Nutrition, Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Political Conflicts

World Nutrition, Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Political Conflicts


Source: Wikimedia Commons map based on UNWFP 2009 Hunger Map


Agriculture, fisheries, horticulture and forestry represent the basis for human nutrition. At the same time, they also provide subsistence and income for a large part of the global population, especially in less industrialized countries. Accordingly, natural resource management plays a central role in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. The first of the eight millennium goals aims to reduce proportion of absolute poverty and malnutrition by half from 1990 to 2015.

According to the statistics of the Wordbank, , in 2005 around 1.4 billion people (one in four) were affected by absolute poverty, having less than $ 1.25 per day. FAO states that about 15% of the world's population, i.e. more than 870 million people, were malnourished in 2004-06, and the trend is increasing. (FAO 2009).

Institutional Resource Economics deals with the use of natural resources and particularly analyses the systems of rules and the relationships of actors who influence the allocation of resources. The rules of a society and the economic use of natural resources they are expected to bring about have a crucially affect nutrition and income through farming practices. For research in the context of less industrialized agrarian-oriented countries, multiple aspects of social, economic, and political exclusion and the resulting poverty, malnutrition and conflicts play a crucial role.


This problem dimension has been addressed in the following research projects:


    Collective Action and Property Rights for Poverty Reduction
  • Ethiopia
    The Role of Local Level Institutions Towards Enhancing Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Rural Ethiopia
  • RSP
    Making Rural Services Work for the Poor. The Role of Rural Institutions and their Governance for Agriculture-led Development


Gandhi, Ruhi

Vulnerability of Urban Poor to Changes in Food Accessibility: A study of opportunities and constraints for adaptation to climate change and rapid urbanization in Hyderabad

Müller, Ulrike

Pro-poor Service Delivery in India – A behavioral economics perspective

Korf, Benedikt (2004)

Conflict, Space and Institutions. Property rights and the political economy of war in Sri Lanka. Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Vol. 19. Aachen: Shaker

Rahausen, Elke V. (2003)

Die Comunidad im Wandel. Zur Situation und Integration von Mapuche-Kleinbauern in der chilenischen Gesellschaft. Berichte aus der Agrarökonomie November 2003. Aachen: Shaker

Bogale, Ayalneh (2002)

Land Degradation, Impoverishment and Livelihood Strategies of Rural Households in Ethiopia: Farmers' perceptions and policy implication. Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Vol. 8. Aachen: Shaker