The way economic studies conceptualize and measure resilience is very heterogeneous. This does not only challenge scientific progress, but also raises the question of whether they measure one identical concept with different methods or whether they measure different understandings of resilience. This paper provides a review of concepts, methodological approaches and empirical evidence on resilience from a food security perspective, focusing on socio-economic research. We perform a systematic literature search to identify recent publications that analyze resilience from the perspective of household food security. We examine the historical evolution of concepts and methods used for measuring resilience and synthesize the evidence. We find that conceptual and analytical models have evolved over time, with important technical adjustments. Studies initially focused on measuring resilience as an end in itself, but more recently resilience is understood as a means to an ultimate end, hence resilience capacity is measured instead. Also, resilience was initially measured as an indicator of food security. Currently it is measured distinctly from food security. Multivariate techniques are found to be frequently used to quantify resilience. The empirical evidence suggests that households with higher resilience capacity tend to have less child malnutrition and better food security. We find that causal pathways through which resilience capacity affects food security in a microeconomic framework are barely explicitly considered in empirical analyses. Therefore, we suggest a model which explicitly addresses these pathways.
- Food security