Now showing 1 - 10 of 47
  • 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.
  • Publication
    Poverty in Ireland : the role of underclass processes
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 1999) ;
    Rising levels of urban deprivation and a perception that poverty has become more concentrated in such areas and has taken on a qualitatively different character have provoked a variety of popular and academic responses. The potentially most fruitful set of hypotheses focus on the unintended consequences of social change. A combination of weak labour force attachment and social isolation are perceived to lead to behaviour and orientations that contribute to a vicious circle of deprivation. In examining the value of this conceptual framework in the Irish case we proceed by measuring directly the social psychological factors which are hypothesised to mediate the 'underclass' process. A significantly higher level of poverty is found in urban public sector tenant households. This finding cannot be accounted for entirely by socio-demographic differences. It is the assessment of this net or residual effect that is crucial to an evaluation of vicious circle explanations. Controlling for the critical social-psychological factors we found that net effect was reduced by less than a quarter and concluded that the remaining effect is more plausibly attributed to the role of selection than to underclass processes. Analysis of the changing relationship between urban public sector tenancy and poverty provides support for this interpretation. For the main part the distinctiveness of social housing tenants is a consequence of the disadvantages they suffer in relation to employment opportunities and living standards. Ultimately it is these problems that policy interventions, whatever the level at which they take place, must address.
  • Publication
    Reference dependent financial satisfaction over the course of the Celtic Tiger : a panel analysis utilising the Living in Ireland Survey 1994-2001
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2006) ; ;
    The link between income and subjective satisfaction with one’s financial situation is explored in this paper using a panel analysis of 4,000 individuals tracked through the course of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom period, 1994-2001. The impact of the level of individual and household income, the time-path of income and the impact of reference group income on financial satisfaction are all considered. To the extent that income influences financial satisfaction, there is strong evidence from this paper that household income has a greater effect on financial satisfaction than individual income. There is also evidence that changes in income have an independent effect on financial satisfaction with the time derivative of income entering positively in the financial satisfaction equation. Thus, our paper gives further evidence to support the hypothesis that individuals process changes as well as absolute levels of income. While reference group income has a negative effect at the start of the period it has no effect at the end.
  • Publication
    Improving work incentives
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 1996-10) ;
  • Publication
    GP reimbursement and visiting behaviour in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-12) ; ;
    In Ireland, approximately 30 per cent of the population (“medical cardholders”) receive free GP services while the remainder (“non-medical cardholders”) must pay for each visit. In 1989, the manner in which GPs were reimbursed by the State for their medical cardholder patients was changed from fee-for-service to capitation while other patients continued to pay on a fee-for-service basis. Concerns about supplier-induced demand were in part responsible for this policy change. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the utilisation of GP services is influenced by the reimbursement system facing GPs, by comparing visiting rates for the two groups before and after this change. Using a difference-in-differences approach on pooled micro-data from 1987, 1995 and 2000, we find that medical card eligibility exerts a consistently positive and significant effect on the utilisation of GP services. However, the differential in visiting rates between medical cardholders and others did not narrow between 1987 and 1995 or 2000, as might have been anticipated if supplier-induced demand played a major role prior to the change in reimbursement system.
  • Publication
    Health insurance in Ireland : issues and challenges
    (ESRI, ISSC and University of Ulster, 2004-11)
    Over the past decade or so the context in which Irelands complex mix of public and private health care operates has changed radically, as the numbers purchasing health insurance have soared and the nature of the insurance market has changed in response to EU regulations. This has widened the divide between those with and without health insurance, and called into question the public-private structure on which Ireland has relied for many years. Almost half the Irish population now pay for private health insurance, one of the highest levels of coverage in the OECD. This is despite the fact that hospital care is what private health insurance mostly covers, and everyone has entitlement to public hospital care from the state. The insured can avail of private health care, but much of this private care is actually delivered in public hospitals. The resulting two-tier system is now widely regarded as problematic from an equity perspective, but there are also serious efficiency issues arising from the incentive structures embedded in this particularly close intertwining of public and private.
  • Publication
    Targeting poverty : lessons from monitoring Ireland's National Anti-Poverty Strategy
    (Cambridge University Press, 2000-10) ; ;
    In 1997 the Irish government adopted the National Anti-Poverty Strategy (NAPS), a global target for the reduction of poverty which illuminates a range of issues relating to official poverty targets. The Irish target is framed in terms of a relative poverty measure incorporating both relative income and direct measures of deprivation based on data on the extent of poverty from 1994. Since 1994 Ireland has experienced an unprecedented period of economic growth that makes it particularly important to assess whether the target has been achieved, but in doing so we cannot avoid asking some underlying questions about how poverty should be measured and monitored over time. After briefly outlining the nature of the NAPS measure, this article examines trends in poverty in Ireland between 1987 and 1997. Results show that the relative income and deprivation components of the NAPS measure reveal differential trends with increasing relative income poverty, but decreasing deprivation. However, this differential could be due to the fact that the direct measures of deprivation upon which NAPS is based have not been updated to take account of changes in real living standards and increasing expectations. To test whether this is so, we examine the extent to which expectations about living standards and the structure of deprivation have changed over time using confirmatory factor analysis and tests of criterion validity using different definitions of deprivation. Results show that the combined income and deprivation measure, as originally constituted, continues to identify a set of households experiencing generalised deprivation resulting from a lack of resources.
  • Publication
    Are married women more deprived than their husbands?
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 1996-02) ;
    Conventional methods of analysis of poverty assume resources are shared so that each individual in a household/family has the same standard of living. This paper measures differences between spouses in a large sample in indicators of deprivation of the type used in recent studies of poverty at household level. The quite limited overall imbalance in measured deprivation in favour of husbands suggests that applying such indicators to individuals will not reveal a substantial reservoir of hidden poverty among wives in non-poor households, nor much greater deprivation among women than men in poor households. This points to the need to develop more sensitive indicators of deprivation designed to measure individual living standards and poverty status, which can fit within the framework of traditional poverty research using large samples. It also highlights the need for clarification of the underlying poverty concept.