How does resilience matter? An empirical verification of the relationships between resilience and vulnerability

Kuan Hui Elaine Lin, Hsiang Chieh Lee, Thung Hong Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The theoretical relationships between resilience and vulnerability have long been debated, but limited research has been done to test their relationships from an empirical perspective. This study presents an important case to demonstrate the empirical verification of the relationships. After reviewing relevant theories, we propose revisions of two widely adopted disaster risk and vulnerability formulas and apply them in a Taiwanese case of Typhoon Morakot. The data incorporate four natural hazard data sets, a Taiwan Social Change Survey of nonvictims as the reference group, and a longitudinal data set of Social Impact and Recovery Survey for Typhoon Morakot victims (2010–2012). With those data, two sets of models were constructed based on the two revised formulas. The first set of models estimates a disaster risk, defined as the probability and expected value of victimization determined by the typhoon hazard, household’s exposure, and contextual vulnerability composed of social class, ethnicity, education, and family status. The second set of models estimates an affected household’s outcome vulnerability, defined as the continuous trajectory of household living condition consisted of exposure, contextual vulnerability, and resilience. In the second set, outcome vulnerability is measured through household income pre- and post-disaster to depict the impact and dynamism; resilience is measured through social capital variables. Logit, ordinal linear regression (OLS), and fixed-effect regression were applied to statistically estimate the models. The results highlight that contextual vulnerability deteriorates the disaster risk of typhoon. Resilience has an impact on outcome vulnerability, but its effect is uncertain, likely to be restricted in the disaster recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1250
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaster
  • Inequality
  • Resilience
  • Taiwan
  • Typhoon
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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