Now showing 1 - 10 of 47
  • 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
    A cross-sectional analysis of the utilisation of GP services in Ireland : 1987- 2001
    (ESRI, ISSC and University of Ulster, 2003-11) ;
    This paper examines the determinants of general practitioner (GP) utilisation patterns in Ireland over the period 1987-2001. Using three different micro-data sets, the influence of socio-economic factors as well as health status variables on the demand for GP visits is analysed. A particular focus of this paper is an examination of the impact of economic incentives as represented by medical card eligibility. While medical cardholders are entitled to free GP consultations, nonmedical cardholders must pay for each visit. In addition, it is important to analyse the impact of the 1989 change in the reimbursement system for GPs with medical cardholder patients from fee for service to capitation. A variety of cross-sectional econometric methodologies are considered with the two-step hurdle negative binomial model found to be the most appropriate. The empirical results confirm the results of earlier studies about the effects of socio-economic characteristics such as age, sex and income on GP utilisation patterns and also confirm the highly significant effects of health status. While medical card eligibility is consistently positive and significant across the years of our analysis (1987, 1995, 2000, 2001), there is no evidence to show that this effect diminished in importance between 1987 and 1995.
  • Publication
    Job Loss by Wage Level: Lessons from the Great Recession in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-09-24) ;
    This paper explores the pattern of job loss in the Great Recession with a particular focus on its incidence by wage level, using data for Ireland. Ireland experienced a particularly pronounced decline in employment with the onset of the recession by international and historical standards, which makes it a valuable case study. Using EU-SILC data, our analysis identifies which employees were most affected. The results show that the probability of staying in employment, from one year to the next, is positively related to monthly wages both during the boom and in the bust. The gradient with wages, however, is much more marked in the bust, and remains significantly so even after controlling for a range of individual characteristics including part-time status, demographics, education, labour market history, industries or occupations.   
  • 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.
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  • 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
    Equity in the utilisation of health care in Ireland
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, 2004) ;
    This paper analyses the extent of equity of health service delivery across the income distribution in Ireland – that is the extent to which there is equal treatment for equal need irrespective of income. We find that almost all services, apart from dental and optician services, are used more by those at the lower end of the income distribution, but that this group also have the greatest need for health care. The comparison of health need to health care delivery across the income distribution without standardising for confounding factors suggests that those in higher income groups receive more health care for a given health status indicating inequity. However, need for health care is highest among the elderly and this group also tend to be at the bottom of the income distribution. Once we standardise for age, sex and location we find that hospital services are distributed equitably across the income distribution, whereas GP and prescription services tend to be pro-poor (used more by those with lower incomes for a given health status) and dental and optician services tend to be pro-rich (used more by those with higher incomes for a given health status).