Now showing 1 - 10 of 52
  • Publication
    Perception of excessive drinking among Irish college students : a mixed methods analysis
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-05-08) ; ; ; ;
    This paper examines students’ perceptions of excessive drinking using statistical vignettes based on standard alcohol misuse markers used in the WHO Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Quantitative analyses revealed stark heterogeneity in students’ perceptions of alcohol excess both in terms of their own self-rated excessiveness and in terms of their general conceptions of excessiveness. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of focus group data with student drinkers revealed four themes mediating perception of excess: Perception of Normal Drinking; Perceived Indicators of Excess; Reactions to Alcohol Guidelines; Justifications for Excessive Alcohol Consumption.
      1294
  • Publication
    Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2013-08) ; ; ; ;
    The literature on skill formation and human capital development clearly demonstrates that early investment in children is an equitable and efficient policy with large returns in adulthood. Yet little is known about the mechanisms involved in producing these long-term effects. This paper presents early evidence on the nature of skill formation based on an experimentally designed, five-year home visiting program in Ireland targeting disadvantaged families - Preparing for Life (PFL). We examine the impact of investment between utero to 18 months of age on a range of parental and child outcomes. Using the methodology of Heckman et al. (2010a), permutation testing methods and a stepdown procedure are applied to account for the small sample size and the increased likelihood of false discoveries when examining multiple outcomes. The results show that the program impact is concentrated on parental behaviors and the home environment, with little impact on child development at this early stage. This indicates that home visiting programs can be effective at offsetting deficits in parenting skills within a relatively short timeframe, yet continued investment may be required to observe direct effects on child development. While correcting for attrition bias leads to some changes in the precision of estimates, overall the results are quite similar.
      467
  • Publication
    An econometric analysis of burglary in Ireland
    (University College Dublin; Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2004) ; ;
    This paper outlines an econometric model of the level of burglary in Ireland between 1952 and 1998. We explain the evolution of the trend in Burglary in terms of demographic factors: in this case the share of young males in the population, the macro-economy in the form of consumer expenditure and two characteristics of the criminal justice system : the detection rate for these crimes and the size of the prison population. The share of young males is associated with higher levels of these crimes. Imprisonment and detection act as powerful forces for reducing crimes, the effects of aggregate consumption are more difficult to pin down but we show that higher spending is associated with more lucrative but probably fewer crimes. One somewhat surprising result is that we were unable to find any robust effect from direct measures of labour market activity such as unemployment rates or wage levels.
      416
  • Publication
    Education policy reform and the return to schooling from instrumental variables
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2000-04) ;
    This paper exploits an unusual policy reform that had the effect of reducing the direct cost of schooling in Ireland in the late 1960’s. This gave rise to an increased level of schooling but with effects that vary substantially across family background. This interaction of educational reform and family background generates a set of instrumental variables that are used to estimate the return to schooling allowing for the endogeneity of schooling. Using a standard Mincer type model we find a large and well-determined rate of return of around 12% which are substantially higher than the OLS estimates of around 7%.
      1063
  • Publication
    The impact of parental income and education on child health : further evidence for England
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-02-01) ; ;
    This paper investigates the robustness of recent findings on the effect of parental education and income on child health. We are particularly concerned about spurious correlation arising from the potential endogeneity of parental income and education. Using an instrumental variables approach, our results suggest that the parental income and education effects are generally larger than are suggested by the correlations observed in the data. Moreover, we find strong support for the causal effect of income being large for the poor, but small at the average level of income.
      851
  • Publication
    The non-life insurance market in Ireland : prospects for empirical analysis
    (The Competition Authority, 2003-05) ;
    The purpose of this study is to set out detailed proposals to examine empirically the state of competition within the nonlife insurance market in Ireland and its effects on consumers. The focus will be on motor, public liability (PL) and employer liability (EL) insurance.
      2297
  • Publication
    Does education raise productivity, or just reflect it?
    (University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2002-12-23) ; ; ;
    It is clear that education has an important effect on wages paid in the labour market However it not clear whether this is due to the role that education plays in raising the productivity of workers (the human capital explanation) or whether education simply reflects the ability of the worker (through a signalling role). In this paper we describe and implement, using a variety of UK datasets, a number of tests from the existing literature for discriminating between the two explanations. We find little support for signalling ideas in these tests. However, we have severe reservations about these results because our doubts about the power of these tests and the appropriateness of the data. We propose an alternative test, based on the response of some individuals to a change in education incentives offered to other individuals caused by the changes in the minimum school leaving age in the seventies. Using this idea we find that data in the UK appears to strongly support the human capital explanation.
      1180