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GINI DP 70: Inequality and Poverty in Boom and Bust: Ireland as a Case Study

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  • Brian Nolan

    ()
    (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

  • Bertrand Maitre

    ()
    (The Economic and Social Research Institute)

  • Sarah Voitchovsky

    ()
    (Geary Institute, UCD)

  • Christopher Whelan

    ()
    (Newman Building, School of Sociology)

Abstract

Introduction Ireland, a small country of only 4 million people, none the less represents a particularly interesting case study on the distributional impact of pronounced macroeconomic fluctuations. In the first instance this is because Ireland has seen quite remarkable macroeconomic fluctuations over the past two decades, with the fastest economic growth rates in the OECD during the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom followed by the post-crisis recession which had a more negative impact on national output in Ireland than in any other OECD country. The decade of exceptionally rapid growth from the mid-1990s saw the numbers employed expand dramatically and unemployment reduced to 4%, but included an unsustainable credit-fuelled expansion in the construction sector and unbridled property price boom. Recession from 2008 onwards went together with a bursting of the property bubble, a collapse in asset values, a banking crisis of unprecedented proportions, and a ballooning fiscal deficit. This toxic combination meant that by late 2010, despite substantial increases in taxation and expenditure cuts, the Irish government had to avail of a ‘bail-out’ by the EU and IMF. The scale of the boom and subsequent recession, accompanied by sustained expansion and then retrenchment in public spending and sharp swings in taxation, mark Ireland out as an outlier in terms of macroeconomic fluctuations, and likely to be particularly illuminating as a case study on their impact on the distribution of income and on poverty. ...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Discussion Papers with number 70.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:70

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  1. Callan,Tim & Keane,Claire & Savage,Michael & Walsh,John R., 2012. "Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Sector Pay Policies: 2009-2012," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2012(4-Winter ).
  2. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Claire Keane & John R. Walsh, 2010. "Inequality and the Crisis: The Distributional Impact of Tax Increases and Welfare and Public Sector Pay Cuts," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(4), pages 461-471.
  3. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire, 2009. "Non-Cash Benefits and the Distribution of Economic Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 3954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kelly, Eilish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip, 2009. "Benchmarking, Social Partnership and Higher Remuneration: Wage Settling Institutions and the Public-Private Sector Wage Gap in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(3), pages 339–370.
  5. Whelan, Christopher T. & Layte, Richard & Maitre, Bertrand & Gannon, Brenda & Nolan, Brian & Watson, Dorothy & Williams, James, 2003. "Monitoring Poverty trends in Ireland: Results from the 2001 Living in Ireland Survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS51.
  6. Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2010. "Earnings Inequality, Institutions and the Macroeconomy – What Can We Learn from Ireland’s Boom Years?," Working Papers 201016, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  7. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2096, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Barrett, Alan & FitzGerald, John & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Earnings inequality, returns to education and immigration into Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 665-680, November.
  9. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," NBER Working Papers 15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  11. Brian Nolan & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2005. "IRELAND's INCOME DISTRIBUTION IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 537-560, December.
  12. Seamus McGuinness & Frances McGinnity & Philip J. O'Connell, 2008. "Changing Returns to Education During a Boom? The Case of Ireland," Papers WP227, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  13. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2009. "The Public-Private Sector Pay Gap in Ireland: What Lies Beneath?," Papers WP321, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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