Now showing 1 - 10 of 70
  • Publication
    Measuring the relationship between voter turnout and health in Ireland
    (University College Dublin; School of Economics, 2006-10) ;
    Health issues are an integral part of the political agenda in Ireland. Yet no study to date has examined the direct impact of health concerns on political outcomes. This study investigates the impact of health, both physical and psychological, and perceptions of the health service on voter turnout in Ireland using the European Social Survey in 2005. The results show that individuals with poor subjective health are significantly less likely to vote in a General Election. Dissatisfaction with the health service is also associated with a lower probability of voting. However these effects interact: those with poor health and who are dissatisfied with the health service are more likely to vote. Psychological well-being has no effect on voter turnout. The health effects identified in this study are large. Therefore, given the PR electoral system in Ireland, small changes in voter turnout could have dramatic consequences for electoral outcomes.
  • Publication
    A multi-country study of inter-generational educational mobility
    (University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2003) ; ;
    This paper analyses intergenerational educational mobility using survey data for twenty countries. We find that a number of interesting patterns emerge. Estimating a measure of mobility as movement and an index of mobility as equality of opportunity we find that while these two measures are positively correlated, the correlation is far from perfect. Examining the link with educational inequality we find evidence which suggests an inverse relationship between mobility and inequality consistent with egalitarian theory. The relationship between mobility appears to be weak, high returns to education do not depress mobility, as some human capital theories would suggest. Mobility appears to be somewhat higher for men whereas equality is much the same for both sexes. There is evidence that mobility as equality of opportunity has risen consistent with modernization theory. There is no evidence that expansion of third level education has led to a fall in the penalty associated with having a low educated parent. Estimates of marginal mobility are quite different from average mobility.
  • Publication
    Handedness and depression : evidence from a large population survey
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2008-05-21)
    This paper uses a new large population survey from twelve European countries to measure the association between handedness and depression. It is found that that depressive symptoms are significantly higher amongst left-handed men. While 19% of right handed men report experiencing depressive symptoms for at least a two week period, the figure for left handed men is almost 25%. For women the corresponding percentages are 33% and 36% respectively but the difference is not statistically significant. Using the EURO-D depression scale gives equivalent results. These results are consistent with one finding from an existing small scale study.
  • Publication
    Political interest, cognitive ability and personality : determinants of voter turnout in Britain (version 1.5)
    (University College Dublin; School of Economics, 2005-06) ;
    This paper uses longitudinal data from the National Cohort Development Study (NCDS) to investigate the determinants of voter turnout in the 1997 British General Election. It introduces measures of cognitive ability and personality into models of electoral participation and finds that firstly, their inclusion reduces the impact of education and secondly, that standard turnout models may be biased by the inclusion of the much used “interest in politics” measure. A bivariate probit model of turnout and interest then shows that individuals with high ability, an aggressive personality and a sense of civic duty are more likely to both turn out to vote and to have an interest in politics.
  • Publication
    Big and tall parents do not have more sons
    (University College Dublin; Centre for Economic Research, 2007-11)
    In a 2005 paper Kanezawa proposed a generalisation of the classic Trivers-Willard hypothesis. It was argued that as a result taller and heavier parents should have more sons relative to daughters. Using two British cohort studies, evidence was presented which was partly consistent with the hypothesis. I analyse the relationship between an individual being male and their parents’ height and weight using one of the datasets. No evidence of any such relationship is found.
  • Publication
    Self-reported health in good times and in bad: Ireland in the 21st century
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2016-08) ;
    The Great Recession has renewed interest in whether and how health responds to macroeconomic changes. Ireland provides a convenient natural experiment to examine this since a period of sustained high growth and low unemployment – the so-called Celtic Tiger period- gave way to a deep recession following the economic crisis in 2008. We use data from the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey (SILC), to explore what happened to self-reported health over the period 2002-2014. While some sub-populations experienced pro-cyclical effects on self-rated health, in general we find no evidence that the proportion of the population in poor health was higher after the onset of the economic crisis. However a multivariate model implies that there was some effect at the top of the health distribution with a higher unemployment rate switching individuals from being in “very good health” to “good health”. Effect sizes are much larger for females than males.
  • Publication
    Does voting history matter : analysing persistence in turnout
    (University College Dublin; Geary Institute, 2005-12-01) ;
    Individuals who vote in one election are also more likely to vote in the next. Modelling the causal relationship between consecutive voting decisions however is intrinsically difficult, as this positive association can exist due to unobserved heterogeneity (i.e. some fixed, but unobserved, characteristics makes voters consistently turn out to vote) or habit formation (i.e. past turnout decisions influence subsequent turnout decisions). This paper overcomes this problem using longitudinal data from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS) to examine voting behaviour across three elections. Utilising techniques developed in the econometrics literature we find that failing to control for unobserved heterogeneity overestimates the extent of habit formation by almost 100%. Estimating a dynamic model of voter turnout, allowing for unobserved heterogeneity, implies that voting in one election increases the probability of voting in the next by about 13%. This figure is far less than previous studies have identified.
  • Publication
    Irish attitudes to immigration during and after the boom
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2013-12) ;
    Given the huge size, relatively speaking, of the human influx into Ireland over the past decade or so, the evolution of Irish attitudes to immigration is of more than parochial interest. In this paper we use the six rounds of the European Social Survey (2002-2012) in seeking to account for those attitudes and chart their evolution. We also employ standard Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions in order to identify the relative importance of shifts in ‘tastes’ and of changes in underlying economic conditions in accounting for changes before and after the collapse of the Celtic Tiger.
  • Publication
    Basic Stata Graphics for Economics Students
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2018-07)
    This paper provides an introduction to the main types of graph in Stata that economics students might need. It covers univariate discrete and continuous variables, bivariate distributions, some simple time plots and methods of visualising the output from estimating models. It shows a small number of the many options available and includes references to further resources.
  • 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.