Now showing 1 - 10 of 38
  • Publication
    Risk attitudes as an independent predictor of debt
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-09-17) ; ;
    This paper examines how attitudes to risk relate to other psychological constructs of personality and consideration of future consequences (a proxy for time preferences) and how risk attitudes relate to credit behaviour and debt holdings. There is a small correlation between risk attitudes and consideration of future consequences. As regards personality, risk attitudes are most positively related to extraversion and openness to experience and are negatively related to neuroticism. Risk willingness is a robust predictor of debt holdings even controlling for demographics, personality, consideration of future consequences and other covariates.
  • Publication
    Preferences for specific social welfare expenditure in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2006-05-25) ;
    Many papers examine general level preferences for redistribution. However, few papers examine preferences for specific forms of redistribution. This paper examines the decomposition of demand for three major categories of social welfare expenditure in Ireland: unemployment payments, old age pensions and child benefit. The determinants of preferences are found to be fairly consistent with a self-interested economics perspective with respect to the utilisation and financing of these three specific schemes. In addition, the split sampling procedure used in the nationwide survey indicated that the provision of information on the schemes’ costs did not have a significant effect on preferences.
  • Publication
    Decomposing gender differences in college student earnings expectations
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-09) ; ;
    Despite the increasing coverage and prevalence of equality legislation and the general alignment of key determining characteristics such as educational attainment, gender differentials continue to persist in labour market outcomes, including earnings. Recently, evidence has been found supporting the role of typically unobserved non-cognitive factors in explaining these gender differentials. We contribute to this literature by testing whether gender gaps in the earnings expectations of a representative group of Irish university students are explained by simultaneously controlling for gender heterogeneity across a wide array of cognitive and noncognitive factors. Non-cognitive factors were found to play a significant role in explaining the gender gap, however, gender differentials persist even after controlling for an extensive range of cognitive and non-cognitive factors. Nearly three-quarters of the short run and two-thirds of the long run differential could not be explained.
  • Publication
    Worker well-being before and during the COVID-19 restrictions: A longitudinal study in the UK
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2021-02) ; ; ;
    The potential impact of COVID-19 restrictions on worker well-being is currently unknown. In this study we examine 15 well-being outcomes collected from 621 full-time workers assessed before (November, 2019 - February, 2020) and during (May-June, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixed effects analyses are used to investigate how the COVID-19 restrictions and involuntary homeworking affect well-being and job performance. The majority of worker well-being measures are not adversely affected. Homeworkers feel more engaged and autonomous, experience fewer negative emotions and feel more connected to their organisations. However, these improvements come at the expense of reduced homelife satisfaction and job performance.
  • Publication
    Public perceptions of the dioxin crisis in Irish pork
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2009-06) ; ; ;
    In early December 2008, a global recall of Irish pork was initiated as a result of a subset of the national pork output being contaminated with dioxin. In this study, members of a panel from an internet-based longitudinal monitor of public opinion on food and health, was used to assess public perceptions about the dioxin incident in late December. A larger proportion of respondents reported that that there was a ‘very high’ health risk from pork (8.6 %) than any other food of animal origin. The risk posed to human health from dioxins was considered to be relatively high compared to a broad range of potential food and non-food risks. The majority of respondents (70.5 %) accepted that the way in which the authorities managed the crisis was ‘adequate’ or ‘very efficient’. These findings should be considered in light of the following facts: the European Food Safety Authority and the Irish authorities announced that there was no risk to human health from the dioxins in pork, there was extensive media attention about the dioxin incident, and the Irish Government had to introduce a 200 million euro compensation package for the Irish pork industry which was funded by the Irish taxpayer.
  • 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
    Heterogeneous interpretation of “household expenditure” in survey reports : evidence and implications of bias
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-06) ;
    This paper addresses respondents’ interpretation of the term “household expenditure” when answering survey questions. A sizeable minority of respondents do not attempt to include all transactions made by every household member, interpreting the question as eliciting individual consumption. This biases estimates of expenditure downward. Furthermore, this bias is predicted by respondent characteristics.
  • Publication
    The early childhood determinants of time preferences
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15) ;
    Research on time preference formation and socioeconomic differences in discounting has received little attention to date. This article examines the extent to which early childhood differences emerge in measures of hyperactivity, impulsivity and persistence, all of which are good psychometric analogues to how economists conceptualise discounting. We examine the distribution of these traits measured at age three across parental social class and analyse the extent to which different mechanism plausibly generate the observed social class distribution. In addition, we control for a wide ranging of potentially mediating factors including parental investment and proxies for maternal time preferences. Our results show substantial social class variations across all measures. We find only weak evidence that this relates to differential maternal time preferences (e.g. savings behaviour, abstaining from smoking) but relatively stronger evidence that these traits are transmitted through the parents own non-cognitive skill set (self-esteem, attachment etc.) and parental time investments (e.g. time spent reading to the child and teaching the child to write, sing etc.).
  • Publication
    Psychological and biological foundations of time preference : evidence from a day reconstruction study with biological tracking
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-08-10) ; ;
    This paper considers the relationship between the economic concept of time preference and relevant concepts from psychology and biology. Using novel data from a time diary study conducted in Ireland that combined detailed psychometric testing with medical testing and real time bio-tracking, we examine the distribution of a number of psychometric measures linked to the economic concept of time preferences and test the extent to which these measures form coherent clusters and the degree to which these clusters are related to underlying biological substrates. The paper finds that financial discounting is related to a range of psychological variables including consideration of future consequences, self-control, conscientiousness, extraversion, and experiential avoidance as well as being predicted by heart rate variability and blood pressure.
  • Publication
    From Angela’s Ashes to the Celtic Tiger : early life conditions and adult health in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2009-12) ; ;
    We use data from the Irish census and exploit regional and temporal variation in infant mortality rates over the 20th century to examine effects of early life conditions on later life health. Our main identification is public health interventions which eliminated the Irish urban infant mortality penalty. Estimates suggest that a unit decrease in mortality rates at time of birth reduces the probability of being disabled as an adult by between .03 and .05 percentage points. We find that individuals from lower socio economic groups had marginal effects of reduced infant mortality twice as large as those at the top.