Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Congratulations to Professor Adam Rose who is celebrating the release of not one but two important new books. The volumes, Defining and Measuring Economic Resilience from a Societal, Environmental and Security Perspective and Economic Consequence Analysis Tool (E-CAT), both published by Springer, are the culmination of 10 years of research with CREATE and tackle diverse topics.
As Professor Rose explains his book on economic resilience is “a primer intended for a general reader who seeks to understand the concept.” The book provides basic definitions and dimensions of resilience, an operational metric, an examination of its measurement, and a benefit-cost analysis framework for incorporating resilience into decision-making.
“In essence economic resilience refers to ways to recover from disasters efficiently and rapidly,” Professor Rose explains. “This applies at the microeconomic level (individual business, household, and government agency), mesoeconomic level (industry and market) and macroeconomic level (entire regional or national economy). I, like most social scientists, use the term to refer to post-disaster actions that reduce the economic consequences of disasters. Of course, resilience is a process, and one can enhance resilience capacity before a disaster, but resilient actions are not implemented until after the disaster strikes. Losses, such as decreases in business sales, overall gross domestic product, and employment, just begin at this point and continue until recovery has been completed. This approach is in contrast to many who define resilience as anything that can reduce losses from disaster, but who focus on (pre-disaster mitigation. Mitigation has long been a perfectly good term for actions before a disaster. What has been lacking is an umbrella term for post-disaster actions, which is why I prefer the more focused definition.”
The book places the definition of economic resilience in perspective by comparing it with definitions in several other disciplines. It points out that there are more commonalities than differences, and that economic resilience is consistent with the essence of definitions in these other disciplines. Also, it explains the relationship between resilience and related terms such as vulnerability and adaptation.
The volume is an outgrowth of a background report Professor Rose wrote as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its Human Development Report, 2014.
In contrast, the second book presents cutting edge research that has developed a valuable decision-making aid—the Economic Consequence Analysis Tool (E- CAT). This software rapidly estimates the number of man-made (primarily terrorism), natural, and technological hazards. The tool is intended for high-level decision-makers who require quick estimates of economic impacts to make broad risk management decisions or those who need rapid assessments of the economic magnitude of a recent disaster for such purposes as dispensing post-disaster assistance. On the other hand, the book itself is primarily intended for the research community, as well as serving as a user’s guide for the software.
“The book is the culmination of 10 years of research on the development of an ECA Framework and its applications,” Professor Rose explains. “The Framework extends traditional hazard loss estimation in several ways. First, it incorporates resilience, which is capable of significantly reducing losses. Second, it incorporates extreme behavioral responses, such as the fear of flying in the aftermath of 9/11 or the potential increase in wage demands and investor rates of return at the site of a dirty bomb attack. It also provides a fresh perspective on whether to consider mitigation and resilience expenditures as a cost or benefit to the economy. The ECA methodology has been refined in nearly 20 case studies over the past decade.”
The methodology at the core of the Framework is computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis, which models the economy as a set of interconnected supply chains. It is a highly complex approach consisting of thousands of equations. The book focuses on how we translated the CGE model results for each threat into a “reduced form” statistical equation that can then be incorporated into a user-friendly software system to provide ballpark estimates of economic consequences with uncertainty bounds.
This book was co-authored with three former CREATE post-docs: Fynn Prager (now an assistant professor at Cal State Dominguez Hills), Zhenhua Chen (now an assistant professor at The Ohio State University) and Sam Chatterjee (now a research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Lab); as well as associate authors: Dan Wei (Price School research assistant professor and CREATE faculty affiliate), Nat Heatwole (former CREATE post-doc and now an analyst at Acumen), and Eric Warren (a Price School Masters of Public Policy graduate and now an employee of the federal government).
This research was commissioned by the DHS Office of University Programs (OUP) Federal Coordinating Committee (FCC) for CREATE and was originally intended for the DHS Policy Office. However, it has broader uses for governments at all levels, as well as those in the private and non-profit sectors.
These two books are the first two volumes of the Springer Publishers new book series on Integrated Disaster Risk Management, of which Professor Rose is a co-editor. Both books contain an extensive forward that traces the history of this field in the US, Europe, Japan and developing countries.
Professor Rose’s next projects are four-fold. He is in the midst of working on an NSF grant to measure dynamic economic resilience (efficient investment in repair and reconstruction) and a Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI, another DHS COE) contract to measure static economic resilience (efficient use or resources remaining after a disaster). He is working on developing a cyber threat E- CAT module for the US Coast Guard, though it is intended to have a high level of accuracy on the basis of the incorporation of detail on threats, locations, and durations of cyber disruptions, with major input by experts in this field. He is also working on two projects for DHS: one relating to evaluating the net benefits of COE research projects and the other on a decision-support methodology for evaluating CBP facility investment. Finally, he is working in a new area for him of migration and population displacement following disasters. CREATE post-doc Jonathan Eyer and Professor Rose have just received a grant from the Japan Foundation to analyze and compare the migration and repatriation experiences of populations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.