UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Chris Barrett, Cornell University

Estimating Development Resilience: A Conditional Moments Based Approach

Date and Location

Monday, May 15, 2017, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
ARE Library, 4101 Social Sciences and Humanities


Despite significant spending on 'resilience' by international development agencies, no theory-based method for estimating or measuring development resilience has yet been developed. This paper introduces an econometric strategy for estimating individual or household-level development resilience from panel data. Estimation of multiple conditional moments of a welfare function—itself specified to permit potentially nonlinear path dynamics—enables the computation and forecasting of individual-specific conditional probabilities of satisfying a normative minimum standard of living. We then develop a decomposable resilience measure that enables aggregation of the individual- specific estimates to targetable subpopulation- and population-level measures. We illustrate the method empirical ly using household panel data from pastoralist communities in northern Kenya. The results demonstrate not only the method and its potential for targeting resilience- building interventions, but also help explain the behavioral paradox of apparent herd overstocking.

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