Occupational structures, migration, religion and poor relief in nineteenth century urban Ireland
AbstractPatterns of poor relief varied greatly amongst nineteenth century Irish cities. To date, however, there has been little examination of the reasons behind these divergences. One possible factor is the divergent occupational and demographic structures of these cities – ranging from the dramatic growth of an industrialising Belfast, to relative (post-Famine) stability in more service-oriented Dublin, to the slow decline of other southern regional capitals. This paper examines the occupational and social class breakdown of the six major Irish cities over the period from 1861 (after the Great Famine) to 1901 and explores whether the difference in these factors can help to explain the differences in poor relief policies adopted in the different poor law unions. It concludes that the aggregate evidence suggests little clear link between occupational structures and poor relief policies. While it would seem unlikely that occupational structures did not have some impact on such policies, it appears that the impact of such structures was mediated through a range of other policies and will only be revealed through detailed local studies. Drawing on broader work, the paper suggests that key influences in the different patterns of poor relief– in addition to overarching factors such as the wealth of a union – may have included both religious factors and the use of poor relief policy to control in-migration in the rapidly growing northern cities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28734.
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Poor relief; urbanisation; occupational structures; Ireland; nineteenth century;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
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