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The poverty–vulnerability–resilience nexus: Evidence from Bangladesh

Listed author(s):
  • Akter, Sonia
  • Mallick, Bishawjit

Vulnerability and resilience lie at the core of the new paradigm governing natural disaster risk management frameworks. However, empirical understandings of socio-economic resilience and its links with poverty and vulnerability are limited. This paper presents an empirical investigation of socio-economic resilience to natural disasters in a tropical cyclone-prone coastal community in Bangladesh. The results indicate that the cyclone in question had negative impacts on the community, particularly in terms of income, employment and access to clean water and sanitation. Consistent with the findings of the social vulnerability literature, our results also suggest that the poor were more vulnerable and suffered significantly higher economic, physical and structural damage. However, this high vulnerability did not necessarily lead to low resilience, as these individuals exhibited a greater ability to withstand the shock compared to their non-poor neighbors. This refutes the flip-side hypothesis of the link between vulnerability and resilience (i.e. vulnerability is the flip side of resilience). The findings imply that the increased risk of tropical cyclones is likely to reduce incomes and standards of living among the tropical coastal communities. However, the burden of these adverse impacts is unlikely to be disproportionally borne by the poorer segment of the society.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800913003182
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 114-124

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:114-124
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.10.008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Kalliopi Sapountzaki, 2012. "Vulnerability management by means of resilience," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 60(3), pages 1267-1285, February.
  2. Neil Adger, W., 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extremes in Coastal Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-269, February.
  3. Shitangsu Paul & Jayant Routray, 2011. "Household response to cyclone and induced surge in coastal Bangladesh: coping strategies and explanatory variables," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 57(2), pages 477-499, May.
  4. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
  5. van den Berg, Marrit, 2010. "Household income strategies and natural disasters: Dynamic livelihoods in rural Nicaragua," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 592-602, January.
  6. Cannon, Terry, 2008. "Reducing People?s Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: Communities and Resilience," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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