Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Economic stress and the great recession in Ireland:- the erosion of social class advantage
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2016-11-09) ; ;
    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.
  • Publication
    Measuring material deprivation in the enlarged EU
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 2008-06) ; ;
    This paper uses new data from EU-SILC for twenty-six European countries to examine the structure and distribution of material deprivation in the enlarged EU. We identify three distinct dimensions of material deprivation relating to consumption, household facilities and neighbourhood environment, and construct indices of these dimensions for each country and the EU as a whole. The extent of variation across countries and welfare regimes is shown to depend on the dimension on which one focuses, as does the strength of the association with household income and subjective economic stress. The index of consumption deprivation has by far the highest correlation with income, provides a highly reliable measure in itself, and allows segments of the population to be identified that are sharply differentiated in terms of their multi-dimensional deprivation profiles. On the basis of this evidence we make some suggestions as to the manner in which the measurement of material deprivation in the European Union should be developed through the proposed special module of deprivation which will form part of the 2009 wave of EU-SILC.
  • Publication
    Polarization or "Squeezed Middle" in the Great Recession? : A Comparative European Analysis of the Distribution of Economic Stress
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-06-18) ; ;
    This paper analyses variation in the impact of the Great Recession on economic stress across income classes for a range of advanced European countries. Our analysis shows Iceland, Ireland and Greece to be quite distinctive in terms of increases in their multidimensional income, material deprivation and economic stress profiles. Between 2008 and 2012 these countries moved from being predictably located within anticipated welfare regimes to becoming clear outliers. For this set of counties, each of which was exposed to different but severe forms of economic shock, trends in income class polarisation versus middle class squeeze were variable. Each exhibited substantial increases in levels of economic stress. However, changes in the pattern of income class differentiation were somewhat different. In Iceland a form of middle class squeeze was observed. For income class polarization did not exclude middle class squeeze. Greece came closest to fitting the polarization profile. Changes in the distribution of household equivalent income had no effect on stress levels once the impact of material deprivation was taken into account. Changes in levels of material deprivation played a significant role in accounting for changing stress levels but only for the three lowest income classes. These findings bring out the extent to which the impact of the Great Recession on the distribution of economic stress across classes varied even among the hardest-hit countries. They also serve to highlight the advantages of a multidimensional approach that goes beyond reliance on income in seeking to understand the impact of such shocks.
  • Publication
    The role of social institutions in inter-generational mobility
    The primary goal of inter-generational mobility (IGM) research has always been to explain how and why social origins influence peoples’ life chances. This has naturally placed family attributes at centre stage. But the role of social institutions, most notably education systems, as a mediating factor has also been central to IGM theory. Indeed, generations of stratification research were premised on the core assumption that equalizing access to education would weaken the impact of social origins. In theory, policies, institutions, as well as macro-economic and historical context, have been identified as crucial in shaping patterns of social mobility (D’Addio, 2007). But apart from education, empirical research has contributed little concrete evidence on how this occurs.
  • Publication
    Housing expenditures and income poverty in EU countries
    (Cambridge University Press, 2004-07) ; ;
    Previous research has suggested that hidden income arising from home ownership has important consequences for poverty measurement as it tends to favour certain low income groups, especially the elderly, and to have a moderating effect on poverty rates in countries with high levels of home ownership. This article explores both methodological and substantive aspects of this issue using data for 14 EU countries drawn from the European Community Household Panel Survey 1996. Methodologically, in the absence of data needed to estimate hidden income from housing directly, it explores the validity of using a housing expenditures approach to take account of the income effects of housing in a poverty measurement context. Substantively, it examines whether poverty measured in this way in the 14 countries in the data set differs in expected directions from poverty as conventionally measured. The substantive effects are found to be modest overall and to conform only partially to expectations. Certain methodological problems raise a question mark over these findings, such as variation across countries in the degree to which mortgage payments capture the cost of house purchase for home owners. The article concludes that the distributive effects of housing are important for poverty measurement but need to be better understood within each country before attempting cross-country analysis.
      3056Scopus© Citations 35
  • Publication
    Poverty dynamics : an analysis of the 1994 and 1995 waves of the European Community Household Panel Survey
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 2000-07) ; ; ;
    Recent poverty research internationally based on analysis of panel data has highlighted the importance of income dynamics. In this paper, we study mobility into and out of relative income poverty from one year to the next using data for twelve countries from the European Community Household Panel Survey (ECHP). The ECHP has unique potential as a harmonised data set to serve as the basis for comparisons of income and poverty dynamics across EU countries, and here we begin exploiting this potential by analysing income poverty transitions from Wave 1 to Wave 2. As well as describing the extent of these transitions, we analyse the pattern by fitting log-linear and linear by linear models commonly employed in the analysis of social mobility. Moving from general to specific models we show the relative impact of hierarchy, immobility and affinity effects. Our analysis shows that cross-national variation in short-term poverty dynamics is predominantly a consequence of "shift" rather than "association effects". Variation across countries in patterns of poverty persistence is extremely modest. Models that assume that the processes underlying poverty dynamics are constant across countries perform almost as well as those that allow for cross-national variability.
  • Publication
    Economic Stress and the Great Recession in Ireland: The Erosion of Social Class Disadvantage
    (Economic and Social Studies, 2018) ; ;
    In this paper we address the issue of whether the Great Recession in Ireland led to increased social class polarisation in the experience of economic stress. Rather than observing polarisation, we find evidence for ‘middle class squeeze’ involving the self-employed and a significant erosion of the advantages associated with the higher social classes. These outcomes derived primarily from a weakening of the degree of association between social class and income class and a reduction of the buffering effect of social class within the lower income classes. By 2012 social class had no impact on economic stress net of income class.