Economic stress and the great recession in Ireland:- the erosion of social class advantage

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Title: Economic stress and the great recession in Ireland:- the erosion of social class advantage
Authors: Whelan, Christopher T.
Nolan, Brian
Maitre, Bertrand
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Date: 9-Nov-2016
Abstract: In this paper we address claims that the impact of the Great Recession in Ireland has led to increased class polarization with the burden of the adjustment being disproportionately borne by the vulnerable. Rather than observing social class polarization, we find evidence for 'middle class squeeze' involving the self-employed and a significant erosion of the advantage associated with the higher social classes. The changing impact of social class was related to a change in the distribution of persons across classes but more importantly to a weakening of the degree of association between social class and income group and a changing pattern of interaction between them. The cumulative impact of these changes meant that by 2012 social class had no impact on economic stress net of income group. Our findings are consistent with an erosion of the buffering role of social class within the lower income categories associated with the pervasive effects of the economic crisis. Our analysis elaborates onthe reasons why what from an income perspective can appear as deterioration in theposition of the income poor can from a social class perspective reappear as middle class squeeze. In our conclusion we consider why our findings seem so much at variance with most of the commentary on the distributional impact of austerity in Ireland.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Geary Institute
Copyright (published version): 2016 the authors
Keywords: Social classIncome classEconomic stressGreat RecessionIreland
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Geary Institute Research Collection

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