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Measuring the Vulnerability of Subnational Regions in South Africa


  • Wim Naude
  • Mark McGillivray
  • Stephanie Rossouw


A small but growing literature has been concerned about the economic (and environmental) vulnerability on the level of countries. Less attention is paid to the economic vulnerability of different regions within countries. By focusing on the vulnerability of subnational regions, this paper contributes to the small literature on the “vulnerability of place”. They authors see the vulnerability of place as being due to vulnerability in various domains, such as economic vulnerability, vulnerability of environment, and governance, demographic and health fragilities. They use a subnational data set on 354 magisterial districts from South Africa, recognize the potential relevance of measuring vulnerability on a subnational level, and construct a Local Vulnerability Index for the various districts. They condition this index on district per capita income and term this a Vulnerability Intervention Index, interpreting this as an indicator of where higher income per capita, often seen in the literature as a measure of resilience, will in itself be unlikely to reduce vulnerability.

Suggested Citation

  • Wim Naude & Mark McGillivray & Stephanie Rossouw, 2009. "Measuring the Vulnerability of Subnational Regions in South Africa," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 249-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:37:y:2009:i:3:p:249-276 DOI: 10.1080/13600810903085800

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon Cordina, 2004. "Economic Vulnerability And Economic Growth: Some Results From A Neo-Classical Growth Modelling Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 21-39, December.
    2. Lino Briguglio & Gordon Cordina & Nadia Farrugia & Stephanie Vella, 2009. "Economic Vulnerability and Resilience: Concepts and Measurements," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 229-247.
    3. Briguglio, Lino, 1995. "Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1615-1632, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Montalbano, Pierluigi, 2011. "Trade Openness and Developing Countries' Vulnerability: Concepts, Misconceptions, and Directions for Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1489-1502, September.
    2. Andy Sumner & Rich Mallett, 2011. "Snakes and Ladders, Buffers and Passports: Rethinking Poverty, Vulnerability and Wellbeing," Working Papers 83, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    3. Stephanié Rossouw & Don J. Webber, 2012. "Sub-national vulnerability and relative location: A case study of South Africa," Working Papers 2012-01, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    4. Maria Makabenta Ikeda & Arlene Garces-Ozanne, 2016. "Human Security, Social Competence and Natural Disasters in Japan and New Zealand: A Case study of Filipino migrants," Japan Social Innovation Journal, University of Hyogo Institute for Policy Analysis and Social Innovation, vol. 6(1), pages 1-42, March.
    5. Tomoki Fujii, 2016. "Concepts and measurement of vulnerability to poverty and other issues: a review of literature," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 3, pages 53-83 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Tomoki Fujii, 2016. "Concepts and measurement of vulnerability to poverty and other issues: a review of literature," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 3, pages 53-83 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Anand, P B, 2011. "Developing a multi-dimensional environmental vulnerability (MEV) indicator for Mongolia," MPRA Paper 47440, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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