John F.


H.E. Babcock Professor of Food & Nutrition Economics and Policy
305 Savage Hall
Ithaca, New York
Division of Nutritional Sciences
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs


John Hoddinott is the H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Economics and Policy, Cornell University. Before coming to Cornell in 2015, he was a Deputy Division Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of poverty, hunger and undernutrition in developing countries. He has been heavily involved in primary data collection through living in a mud hut in western Kenya and a small town near Timbuktu Mali in addition to his work in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Niger and Zimbabwe.

John has ongoing research work in three countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Guatemala. The Bangladesh and Ethiopian studies focus on agriculture, social protection, food security and nutrition. These are a mix of prospective cohort and randomized control trials. The Guatemala study is a follow up to a randomized community nutrition intervention that was fielded in the early 1970s.


John is interested in the causes of poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition, and the design and evaluation of interventions that would reduce these. He has also undertaken work on poverty dynamics, intrahousehold resource allocation, schooling, labour markets aid allocation and on improving survey methods.

John's current research interests focus on the links between economics (especially social protection, agriculture and gender), food security and early life nutrition. He has ongoing collaborative projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Guatemala. 

 Journal Article Refereed

J. Hoddinott, A. Ahmed and S. Roy, forthcoming, “Randomized control trials demonstrate that nutrition sensitive social protection interventions increase the use of Sprinkles and other iron supplements in rural pre-school Bangladeshi children", Public Health Nutrition.

J. Hoddinott, forthcoming, “The investment case for folic acid fortification in developing countries”, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

J. Hoddinott, A. Ahmed, N. Karachiwalla and S. Roy, 2018, “Nutrition behaviour change communication causes sustained effects on IYCN knowledge in two cluster-randomised trials in Bangladesh”, Maternal and Child Nutrition, 14(1).

M. Hidrobo, J. Hoddinott, N. Kumar and M. Olivier, 2018, “Social protection, food security and assets”, World Development, 101: 88-103.

J. Hoddinott, I. Ahmed, A. Ahmed and S. Roy, 2017. “Behavior change communication activities and their impact on infant and young child nutrition knowledge and practice of neighboring non-participants in rural Bangladesh”, PLoS One.

K. Hirvonen and J. Hoddinott, 2017. “Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia”, Agricultural Economics, 49(4): 469-480.

C. Heinrich, J. Hoddinott, and M. Samson, 2017. “Reducing adolescent risky behaviors in a high-risk context: The effects of unconditional cash transfers in South Africa”, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 65(4): 619-652.

D. Headey, J. Hoddinott and S. Park, 2017. “Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: A regression-decomposition approach”, Global Food Security, 13: 12-20.

K. Hirvonen, J. Hoddinott, B. Minten and D. Stifel, 2017. “Children’s diets, nutrition knowledge, and access to markets", World Development, 95: 303-315.


Book chapters 

J. Hoddinott, forthcoming. “Comment on ‘Human capital and shocks’ and ‘Poverty and cognitive function’” in The economics of poverty traps and chronic poverty ed by C. Barrett, M. Carter and J.P. Chavas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). 


Papers submitted to refereed journals

D. Headey, K. Hirvonen and J. Hoddinott, “Animal sourced foods and child stunting”, submitted to American Journal of Agricultural Economics, December 2017.

S. Roy, M. Hidrobo, J. Hoddinott and A. Ahmed, “Transfers, behavior change communication, and intimate partner violence: Post-program evidence from rural Bangladesh”, revised version submitted to Review of Economics and Statistics, December 2017.

S. Gillespie, J. Hoddinott, N. Nisbett, S. Arifeen and M. van den Bold, “Evidence to Action: Highlights from Transform Nutrition Research (2012-17)”, submitted to Food and Nutrition Bulletin, December 2017.

N. D. Ford, J. Behrman, J. Hoddinott, J. Maluccio, R. Martorell, M. Ramirez-Zea and A. D. Stein, “Exposure to improved nutrition from conception to age 2 y and adult cardiometabolic disease risk”, submitted to Lancet Global Health, October 2017.

J. Hoddinott, S. Sandström and J. Upton, “The impact of cash and food transfers: Evidence from a randomized intervention in Niger”, conditionally accepted, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, September 2017.

M.K. Wheeler, D. Lee, W. Vilchez and J. Hoddinott, “Agriculture-nutrition pathways in peri-urban villages: Linking farm production with household diet diversity in the Andean Highlands”, under revision for Food Policy, August 2017.

J. Behrman, J. Hoddinott, J. Maluccio and R. Martorell, “Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in Guatemala”, under revision for Journal of Human Capital, April 2017.

J. Hoddinott, S. Gillespie and S. Yosef, “Public-Private Partnerships and the reduction of undernutrition in developing countries”, under revision for World Bank Research Observer, October 2016.


In April, I took part in a symposium discussion on issues surrounding global hunger organized by CIPA.

In May, I was the speaker at a Corenll student-organized event, a "Hunger Banquet", designed to raise student awareness surrounding issues of global hunger, inequality and social justice.

In October, I participated in a webcast on "How we can overcome chronic undernutrition in developing countries" as part of Cornell's Expanding Nutrition Frontiers. 

John teaches a joint undergraduate/graduate course on the economics of food and malnutrition. This course is designed to bridge economics and nutrition and mixes lectures, class discussions, writing assignments and engagement with data.

NS 4480/6480: Economics of food and malnutrition, Spring 2017

AEM 4485/6485: Economics of food and malnutrition, Spring 2017

AEM/ECON 7650: Development microeconomics graduate research seminar, Spring 2017

AEM/ECON 7650: Development microeconomics graduate research seminar, Fall 2017

NS 7030: Seminar in Nutritional Sciences, Spring 2017

NS 7030: Seminar in Nutritional Sciences, Fall 2017


Guest lectures

ECON 7730: Economic development, Fall 2017

NS 3220: Maternal and Child Nutrition, Spring 2017

NS 6200: Translational Research and Evidence-Based Policy and Practice in Nutrition, Spring 2017