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Understanding the Socio-Economic Distribution and Consequences of Patterns of Multiple Deprivation: An Application of Self-Organising Maps

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  • Christopher T. Whelan

    (School of Sociology and Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Mario Lucchini

    (Universitá degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (Unimib) Milan, University College Dublin)

  • Maurizio Pisati

    (Universitá degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (Unimib) Milan, University College Dublin)

  • Bertrand Maître

    (Economic and Social Research Institute)

Abstract

In this paper we apply self organising maps (SOM) to a detailed set of material deprivation indicators from the Irish component of European Union Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The first stage of our analysis involves the identification and description of sixteen clusters of multiple deprivation that allow us to provide a detailed account of such deprivation in contemporary Ireland. In going beyond this mapping stage, we consider both patterns of socio-economic differentiation in relation to cluster membership and the extent to which such membership contributes to our understanding of the manner in which individuals experience their economic circumstances. Our analysis makes clear the continuing importance of traditional forms of stratification relating to factors such as income, social class and housing tenure in accounting for patterns of multiple deprivation. However, it also confirms the role of acute life events and life cycle and location influences. It suggests that debates relating to the extent to which poverty and social exclusion have become individualized should take particular care to distinguish between different kinds of outcomes. Further analysis demonstrates that the SOM approach is considerably more successful than a comparable latent class analysis in identifying those exposed to subjective economic stress. This finding, combined with those relating to the role of socio-economic factors in accounting for cluster membership, confirms that a focus on a set of eight SOM macro clusters seems most appropriate if our interest lies in broad patterns stratification. For other purposes differentiation within clusters, which clearly takes a systematic form, may prove to be crucial.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201009.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201009.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201009

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  1. Mayer, Susan E, 1993. "Living Conditions among the Poor in Four Rich Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 261-86.
  2. Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
  3. Caroline Dewilde, 2004. "The Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty in Belgium and Britain: A Categorical Approach," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 331-369, September.
  4. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
  5. Warren Torgerson, 1952. "Multidimensional scaling: I. Theory and method," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 401-419, December.
  6. Pasi Moisio, 2004. "A Latent Class Application to the Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 703-717, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Claudia Burlando & Enrico Ivaldi, 2012. "An Indicator to Measure Inequality in the Provision of Local Public Transport in Italy," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 2, pages 43-54, November.

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