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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - World Bank Policy Research Working Paper
Title Can we measure resilience? a proposed method and evidence from countries in the Sahel
Issue 7170
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/21387/WPS7170.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
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.

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