Indicators for social and economic coping capacity - Moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity

Yohe, Gary and Tol, Richard S J (2002) Indicators for social and economic coping capacity - Moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity. Global Environmental Change, 12 (1). pp. 25-40. ISSN 0959-3780

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Abstract

This paper offers a practically motivated method for evaluating systems' abilities to handle external stress. The method is designed to assess the potential contributions of various adaptation options to improving systems' coping capacities by focusing attention directly on the underlying determinants of adaptive capacity. The method should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate diverse applications whose contexts are location specific and path dependent without imposing the straightjacket constraints of a "one size fits all" cookbook approach. Nonetheless, the method should produce unitless indicators that can be employed to judge the relative vulnerabilities of diverse systems to multiple stresses and to their potential interactions. An artificial application is employed to describe the development of the method and to illustrate how it might be applied. Some empirical evidence is offered to underscore the significance of the determinants of adaptive capacity in determining vulnerability; these are the determinants upon which the method is constructed. The method is, finally, applied directly to expert judgments of six different adaptations that could reduce vulnerability in the Netherlands to increased flooding along the Rhine River.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
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Depositing User: Richard Tol
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2012 08:02
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38368
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