Geary Institute Working Papers

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  • Publication
    Revealing a Hidden Cost: determining the public service cost of poverty in Ireland
    (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, 2022-09-09)
    Living life on a poverty income is common in Irish society. Between 2010-20, on average one in seven people lived on an income below the poverty line – approximately 720,000 individuals. By necessity living life on such a low-income imposes costs on these individuals and families. Making ends meet involves personal sacrifices, restricts options and limits opportunities; and for many it is not always possible to find ways to make ends meet. These individual costs of poverty are large scale and leave effects that last years and at times generations. Alongside these individual costs, poverty is responsible for other costs. In particular, the presence of poverty in a society triggers demands on the public purse. These costs derive from the identification of poverty as a determining factor in the need for, and demand for, a wide range of public services and policies ranging across almost all areas of public policy. Building on past literature from the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand this study attempts to establish a heretofore absent benchmark for the recurring annual costs to the state of poverty in Ireland. In doing so it adopts a different approach to the existing literature, drawing from experiences in the economic evaluation literature, to determine a range of costs rather than just one figure. These range from a conservative ‘low estimate’ to an upper-limit ‘high estimate’ with a ‘main estimate’ reflecting the most probable annual cost. The analysis is based on a review of €27.9 billion of annual public service expenditure and highlight for all members of society, whether above or below the poverty line, the recurring public expenditure costs incurred by society as a result of poverty.
      46
  • Publication
    The Troika’s variations on a trio: Why the loan programmes worked so differently in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-10-17) ; ; ;
    Portugal and Ireland exited Troika loan programmes; Greece did not. The conventional narrative is that different outcomes are best explained by differences in national competences in implementing programme requirements. This paper argues that three factors distinguish the Greek experience from that of Ireland and Portugal: different economic, political, and institutional starting conditions; the ad hoc nature of the European institutions’ approach to crisis resolution; and the very different conditionalities built into each of the loan programmes as a result. Ireland and Portugal show some signs of recovery despite austerity measures, but Greece has been burdened beyond all capacity to recover convincingly.
      428
  • Publication
    How do ideas shape national preferences? The Financial Transaction Tax in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-10-17) ;
    European countries have been required to formulate a national preference in relation to the EU Financial Transaction Tax. The two leading approaches to explaining how the financial sector makes its views felt in the political process – the structural power of the financial services sector based on potential disinvestment, and its instrumental power arising from direct political lobbying – fall short of providing a comprehensive account. The missing link is how and why policy-makers might be willing to adopt the priorities of key sectors of the financial services industry. We outline how two levels of ideational power might be at work in shaping outcomes, using Ireland as a case study. We argue firstly that background systems of shared knowledge that are institutionalized in policy networks generated broad ideational convergence between the financial sector and policymakers over the priorities of industrial policy in general. Secondly, and against that backdrop, debate over specific policy choices can leave room for a wider range of disagreement and indeed political and ideational contestation. Irish policymakers proved responsive to industry interests in the case of the FTT, but not for the reasons normally given. This work seeks to link literatures in two fields of inquiry. It poses questions for liberal intergovernmentalism in suggesting that the translation of structurally grounded material interests into national policy preferences is far from automatic, and argues that this is mediated by ideational considerations that are often under-estimated. It also contributes to our understanding of how constructivist explanations of policy outcomes work in practice, through a detailed case study of how material and ideational interests interact.
      227
  • Publication
    Do highly liquid banks insulate their lending behavior?
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-09-09)
    The role of banks in the transmission of monetary policy has been of significance lately. We aim to analyse the bank lending behaviour during changes in monetary policy. We test for loan supply shifts by segregating banks based on their liquidity along with size and capital ratio. This paper employs uninsured, non-reservable liabilities such as time deposits and investigates whether banks are able to insulate themselves during a monetary policy change. We find that the loan supply shock can be neutralized post monetary policy changes. Furthermore, the less liquid and small banks are unable to carry out such operations and are more affected by monetary shocks. This has important implication in the working of commercial banks and effects of monetary policy.
      144
  • Publication
    The Impact of Terrorism on Well-being: Evidence from the Boston Marathon Bombing
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-08-25) ; ;
    A growing literature concludes that terrorism impacts the economy, yet less is known about its impact on utility. This paper estimates the impact of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing on well-being, by exploiting representative U.S. daily data. Using both a regression discontinuity and an event study design, whereby the 2012 Boston marathon serves as a counterfactual, we find a sharp reduction in well-being, equivalent to a two percentage point rise in annual unemployment. The effect is stronger for women and those living in nearby States, but does not persist beyond one week, thus demonstrating the resilience of well-being to terrorism.
      88