Quantifying Urban Economic Resilience Through Labour Force Interdependence

7 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015

See all articles by Shade T. Shutters

Shade T. Shutters

Arizona State University (ASU)

Rachata Muneepeerakul

Arizona State University (ASU) - Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

José Lobo

Arizona State University (ASU)

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

Resilience is increasing rapidly as a framework to understand and manage coupled human–natural systems. Yet the concept of resilience is rarely quantified. Here we quantify system resilience by operationalizing the notion of system tightness. Multiple resilience frameworks recognize the strong relationship between system tightness and resilience, though they differ on the directionality of that relationship. Thus, by measuring the system tightness we ultimately measure urban economic resilience, with the added benefit of empirically determining the directionality of the relationship between tightness and resilience. We then assess how well this measure predicts the response of urban economies to the recent so-called Great Recession. Results show that cities with lower tightness (higher resilience) fared better during the recession with respect to several economic productivity measures. However, in the absence of shocks, those with higher tightness (lower resilience) exhibit superior economic performance. Thus, a tradeoff between efficiency and resilience is nicely reflected in the empirical data. Although this study deals with economic shocks, quantitative metrics based on its methodology may help anticipate a city’s response to shocks more generally, such as natural disasters, climate change, social unrest or significant policy shifts.

Suggested Citation

Shutters, Shade T. and Muneepeerakul, Rachata and Lobo, Jose, Quantifying Urban Economic Resilience Through Labour Force Interdependence (May 2015). Palgrave Communications, Vol. 1, pp. 15010-, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2645675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2015.10

Shade T. Shutters (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Rachata Muneepeerakul

Arizona State University (ASU) - Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-5402
United States

Jose Lobo

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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