Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2016


This article investigates the economic resilience of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member states to shocks. Towards that end, an indepth study is conducted with, first, seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) and structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) models. Second, two indexes - namely, a resistance index and a recovery index — capturing two major aspects of economic resilience in a given country, or group of countries, are constructed. Following a comprehensive analysis of results, five key elements stand out: (i) the WAEMU as a whole takes longer than the individual member countries to accommodate both domestic and external shocks; (ii) contrary to expectations, the impacts of changes in economic conditions from Europe are weak; (iii) the concept of 'engineering resilience' embodies more closely the type of resilience experienced in the WAEMU; (iv) with respect to resistance and recovery postshock, the 'best students' appear to be Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Niger in the former case, while Togo and Côte d'Ivoire emerge on top in the latter, and (v) member states exhibit more dissimilarities in terms of resistance than recovery. A five-point course of action, at both macro and microeconomic levels, aimed at enhancing the degree of economic resilience in individual countries, and the Union, as well as reducing resilience gaps among countries, seem appropriate. This course, if diligently pursued, will strengthen the effectiveness of monetary policy tools at the disposal of authorities as they deal with shocks, both internal and external.