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Vulnerability, resilience and exposure: methodological aspects and an empirical applications to shocks


  • Marco Modica

    () (Gran Sasso Science Insitute)

  • Aura Reggiani

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bologna)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    () (Tinbergen Institute, Gustav Mahlerlaan 117, 1082 MS Amsterdam)


The economic recession which followed the 2008 financial crisis has raised important issues concerning the asymmetry of the shocks - at both the regional and the community level, especially in the European Union Member States. The asymmetry of the shock might be due to the different levels of vulnerability and exposure. These differences can arise because of dissimilarities in the intrinsic characteristics of regions or communities (e.g. the pre-crisis economic characteristics of regions, ageing, household income, and so on). While a great deal of attention has been paid, in the scientific literature, to the concept of resilience (e.g. the capacity to bounce back or to resist a given shock) and vulnerability (e.g. the inherent characteristics that create the potential for harm), less attention has been devoted to the full set of measures of socio-economic exposure (e.g. the things affected by a shock), as well as both to the relationship between vulnerability, exposure and resilience and to the losses which ensue as a result of different external shocks and exposure. The objective of this paper is the exploration of the above-mentioned links, since these interrelations might produce different outputs. To this purpose, we first review the existing literature on vulnerability, exposure and resilience, in order to understand the connections between these concepts, with reference not only to economic shocks but also to other catastrophic events, such as natural disasters, man-made disasters, and so on. We then provide evidence of the impact mechanism of the 2008 financial crisis at the regional and the age-cohort level for the German labour markets, by highlighting how a shock turns into different losses according to the vulnerability and exposure of the objects (the regions and the age cohorts) under analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Modica & Aura Reggiani & Peter Nijkamp, 2018. "Vulnerability, resilience and exposure: methodological aspects and an empirical applications to shocks," SEEDS Working Papers 1318, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Nov 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:srt:wpaper:1318

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Di Caro, Paolo, 2014. "Recessions, recoveries and regional resilience: Evidence on Italy," MPRA Paper 60297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Arief Anshory Yusuf & Herminia Francisco, 2009. "Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia," EEPSEA Special and Technical Paper tp200901s1, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Jan 2009.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Marin & Marco Modica, 2019. "The Survival of Italian Individual Firms to Local Demand Shocks During the Great Recession," SEEDS Working Papers 0119, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Jan 2019.
    2. Jurgita Bruneckiene & Irena Pekarskiene & Oksana Palekiene & Zaneta Simanaviciene, 2019. "An Assessment of Socio-Economic Systems’ Resilience to Economic Shocks: The Case of Lithuanian Regions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-24, January.

    More about this item


    Resilience; Vulnerability; Exposure; Economic shock; German districts;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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