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Identifying Childhood Deprivation: How Well do National Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Ireland Perform?

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  • Christopher T. Whelan

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

  • Bertrand Maitre

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

In light of widespread agreement that poverty and social exclusion should be understood as multidimensional phenomenon, in this paper we explore the practical implications of such an understanding in relation to widely employed indicators of such phenomena in Ireland. One persistent critique of the current national measures of poverty and social exclusion comes from those who feel that the findings they produce are inaccurate in relation to particular stages of the life-course. To date the critiques in the Irish case have been accompanied by relatively little in the way of systematic research documenting the alleged limitations of national measures. In this paper we have taken advantage of the inclusion of a special module on childhood deprivation in EU-SILC 2009 to explore such issues in more depth. Our analysis reveals that, to the extent that national measures fail to identify childhood deprivation, this is largely a consequence of limitations in capturing wider command over economic resources and distinctive risk profiles in relation to exposure to deprivation and economic stress. Overall our analysis leads us to the conclusion that those exposed to childhood deprivation are generally a sub-set of the children captured by national indicators. Adopting a multidimensional and dynamic perspective on household resources and deprivation enables us to capture the large majority of children exposed to childhood deprivation. Conversely restricting our attention to childhood deprivation would lead us to miss out on larger numbers of children living in households experiencing basic deprivation. The national measures of poverty and social exclusion that have been employed in the Irish case are largely successful in capturing childhood deprivation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201121.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 19 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201121

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  1. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maitre, 2008. "“New” and “Old” Social Risks: Life Cycle and Social Class Perspectives on Social Exclusion in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(2), pages 131-156.
  2. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maître, 2010. "Protecting the vulnerable: poverty and social exclusion in ireland as the economic crisis emerged," Working Papers 201023, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  3. Romina Boarini & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Measures of Material Deprivation in OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 37, OECD Publishing.
  4. Christopher T. Whelan, 2007. "Understanding the Implications of Choice of Deprivation Index for Measuring Consistent Poverty in Ireland," Papers WP181, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  5. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître, 2006. "Trends in Economic Vulnerability in the Republic of Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(1), pages 91-119.
  6. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2011. "Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588435.
  7. Kenneth A. Couch & Maureen A. Pirog, 2010. "Poverty measurement in the U.S., Europe, and developing countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 217-226.
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Cited by:
  1. Melissa Engel & Sandra Schaffner, 2012. "How to Use the EU-SILC Panel to Analyse Monthly and Hourly Wages," Ruhr Economic Papers 0390, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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