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Can we measure resilience ? a proposed method and evidence from countries in the Sahel

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  • Alfani, Federica
  • Dabalen, Andrew
  • Fisker, Peter
  • Molini, Vasco

Abstract

Although resilience has become a popular concept in studies of poverty and vulnerability, it has been difficult to obtain a credible measure of resilience. This difficulty is because the data required to measure resilience, which involves observing household outcomes over time after every exposure to a shock, are usually unavailable in many contexts. This paper proposes a new method for measuring household resilience using readily available cross section data. Intuitively, a household is considered resilient if there is very little difference between the pre- and post-shock welfare. By obtaining counterfactual welfare for households before and after a shock, households are classified as chronically poor, non-resilient, and resilient. This method is applied to four countries in the Sahel. It is found that Niger, Burkina Faso, and Northern Nigeria have high percentages of chronically poor: respectively, 48, 34, and 27 percent. In Senegal, only 4 percent of the population is chronically poor. The middle group, the non-resilient, accounts for about 70 percent of the households in Senegal, while in the other countries it ranges between 34 and 38 percent. Resilient households account for about 33 percent in all countries except Niger, where the share is around 18 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfani, Federica & Dabalen, Andrew & Fisker, Peter & Molini, Vasco, 2015. "Can we measure resilience ? a proposed method and evidence from countries in the Sahel," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7170, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7170
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    Cited by:

    1. Monserrath Ximena Lascano Galarza, 2020. "Resilience to Food Insecurity: Theory and Empirical Evidence from International Food Assistance in Malawi," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(3), pages 936-961, September.
    2. Sarker, Md Nazirul Islam & Wu, Min & Alam, GM Monirul & Shouse, Roger C, 2020. "Livelihood resilience of riverine island dwellers in the face of natural disasters: Empirical evidence from Bangladesh," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    3. Knippenberg, Erwin & Hoddinott, John F., 2017. "Shocks, social protection, and resilience: Evidence from Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Cissé, Jennifer Denno & Barrett, Christopher B., 2018. "Estimating development resilience: A conditional moments-based approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 272-284.
    5. Marco d’Errico & Donato Romano & Rebecca Pietrelli, 2018. "Household resilience to food insecurity: evidence from Tanzania and Uganda," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(4), pages 1033-1054, August.
    6. Marco d'Errico & Marco Letta & Pierluigi Montalbano & Rebecca Pietrelli, 2018. "Resilience thresholds to temperature shocks in rural Tanzania: a long-run assessment," Working Papers 2/18, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    7. Isaac Gershon Kodwo Ansah & Cornelis Gardebroek & Rico Ihle, 2019. "Resilience and household food security: a review of concepts, methodological approaches and empirical evidence," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 11(6), pages 1187-1203, December.
    8. Chichaibelu, Bezawit Beyene & Garbero, Alessandra, 2018. "Estimating resilience outcomes in an impact assessment framework with high-frequency data," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274460, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Joanna Upton, 2019. "Working Paper 316 - Resilience to Diverse Shocks and Stressors in Niger and Ethiopia," Working Paper Series 2442, African Development Bank.
    10. Christopher Barrett & Cissé Jennifer Denno, 2016. "Working Paper 236 - Estimating Development Resilience: A Conditional Moments-Based Approach," Working Paper Series 2340, African Development Bank.

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    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Economic Theory&Research; Population Policies;

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