Nutrition Economics: Principles and Policy Applications
S.C. Babu, S.N. Gajanan, and J.A. Hallam;
To address developing countries’ staggering lack of progress in addressing malnutrition, we need to train a new generation of policy and program managers who can traverse the disciplines engaged in nutrition schemes and policy making. But who will do this and how?
The single discipline orientation of academic institutions in both developing and developed countries has made this a major challenge. Some university multidisciplinary programs have trained enough people to greatly improve the development of multidisciplinary capacity to solve malnutrition problems. But such programs continue to be limited in number.
In general, multidisciplinary work is not supported or encouraged.
For example, a faculty member moving out his or her core discipline to publish in multidisciplinary journals may not receive recognition equal to a peer who remains in her or his core discipline. Nutrition policy is an example of a development challenge where several disciplines need to come together, but academic institutions—particularly in developing countries—are simply not fully prepared to face malnutrition challenges.
The authors make a modest attempt to introduce basic economic concepts and their policy applications to scholars with a nutrition and some quantitative background. They also introduce several analytical methods that use real world data to explore nutrition-related policies.