His research interests focus on the economics of household behavior and well-being in areas affected by violent conflict, fragility and humanitarian emergencies, including the measurement of violence and conflict in household surveys and the impact evaluation of programs in conflict-affected areas. He has published over forty articles in peer-reviewed journals (including Demography, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Peace Research, and World Development) and edited over a dozen books and special issues of journals on the economics of conflict and insecurity. Tilman has led as a principal investigator several impact evaluations in conflict-affected and fragile states.
Tilman was previously Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), Director of SIPRI, Professor of Development Economics at Humboldt-University of Berlin, and Head of the Department of Development and Security at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). He has also worked as a consultant for the German Foreign Office, BMZ, European Commission, DFID, FAO, GIZ, ILO, KfW, OECD, UNDP, UNHCR, USAID, WFP and the World Bank. Tilman studied economics at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford and obtained his doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford.