Amidst a crisis-ridden world, the need to build economic resilience has gained considerable momentum in policymaking. The European Commission states resilience as a primary policy objective for the European economy, while international organisations such as the UN, the G20, or the OECD have been calling for a step-change in global economic governance to increase resilience from economic shocks.
A common approach to economic resilience is however missing. We argue this is because there lacks a consistent definition of the system that needs to be made resilient. Resilience is always assessed against a reference value, commonly GDP. By using GDP as the indicator for economic performance against which to assess resilience, the scholars implicitly assume that GDP is the primary goal of an economic system. This understanding of economic resilience misses a deeper analysis that reflects on the broader context of the economic system in relation to other systems such as society and the environment.
To address these challenges, we build an economic resilience framework based on a social-ecological approach to defining the economic system. The next step will then be to empirically test and quantify this economic resilience framework into a country-level index. With this, we aim to enhance economic resilience by guiding policy towards a future-fit, improved steady state.