The concept of ‘resilience’ has its origins in social psychology and ecosystem sciences (BOHLE 2007c: 436). In both disciplines, with this concept, the focus was laid on “atypical” examples of persons or populations in a context of adversities and contingency – e.g. children with schizophrenic parents (GARMEZY 1970) or spruce and birch stands facing budworm outbreaks (cf. HOLLING 1973) – that take advantage of transient periods of favourable conditions to mobilize certain buffering mechanisms and adaptive capacities. Later on, the concept was transferred to social sciences (TIMMERMAN 1981) and to research projects on social-ecological systems (e.g. BERKES et al. 2003). According to authors of the resilience alliance (, resilience has three essential characteristics: First of all, it stems from self-organizing mechanisms of social systems in a context of contingency, uncertainty and risk. Secondly, it refers to a social system’s capacity to undergo actual disturbances and maintain its identity, its basic functioning mechanisms and controls. Thirdly, resilience means a social system’s capacity to learn and adapt to future disturbances in a rapidly changing world. Thus, ‘economic resilience’ in a wider sense can be defined as a firm’s self-organized capability to persist and develop despite or within a context of contingency, variability, uncertainty and risk. In a narrow sense, then, it is a measure of firm’s capacity to effectively recover from hazards. According to Adam ROSE (2004), conceptual and empirical work on economic resilience is still in its infancy (ibd: 308); so far, only few microeconomic studies exist that systematically incorporate the concept into their overall research designs with a focus on individual actors, their daily practices, business networks and agency. Furthermore, a reliable, valid and cost-effective way of measuring economic resilience is still lacking. In this paper, the concept is used to study business disturbances and recovery among rice and fish wholesalers in the megacity of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The main aim is to introduce the Coping Efficiency Index (CEI) as a particular method for measuring economic resilience. First, the methodology of the study is outlined: An evolutionary perspective is presented that assumes a world as subject to permanent change, where uncertainties and risks are not the exception but part of normal life. Since failed enterprises were not accessible in Dhaka and the direct study of the probability of business failure was not possible, the study’s focus is on wholesalers’ “everyday hazards” and on the businessmen’s capacities to overcome them. For this purpose, in March and April 2009, four ‘problem mappings’ were conducted as group discussions at two rice and two fish wholesale markets in Dhaka. As a result, a catalogue of 15 possible business disturbances was assembled and asked for in a standardized survey. The survey was conducted from December 2009 until February 2010 at 13 (out of 25) rice and at 8 (out of 14) fish markets. In sum, 448 rice and fish wholesalers were interviewed out of a total number of 2.831 (Food Market Survey 2009). That equals a coverage rate of 16% and allows empirical evidence with a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 5,5. As result, a matrix of Dhaka’s rice and fish wholesalers can be drawn that enables us to differentiate between ‘wholesalers at risk’ and ‘resilient wholesalers’. The analysis of these results helps us to identify key drivers of urban governance modes in Dhaka, both, as source of risk and uncertainty and as source of economic resilience.