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Literacy and Education in Ireland


  • Kevin Denny

    (University College Dublin and IFS, London)

  • Colm Harmon

    (University College Dublin and CEPR, London)

  • Dorren McMahon

    (University College Dublin and Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Sandra Redmond

    (University College Dublin)


Recent media attention has focused on the low ranking of Ireland in a major international study on literacy. In this paper we examine the dataset used in these studies to consider the reason behind the low ranking. We find significant evidence that the underlying reason for this is the low level of formal schooling of older individuals, possibly due to the lack of free secondary schooling. Moreover we find that formal schooling in Ireland has a bigger effect on literacy outcomes than in either Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

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  • Kevin Denny & Colm Harmon & Dorren McMahon & Sandra Redmond, 1999. "Literacy and Education in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(3), pages 215-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:30:y:1999:i:3:p:215-226

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2001. "La publication d'articles de recherche en économie en France," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 62, pages 5-47.
    6. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Mamuneas, Theofanis P. & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "European economics: An analysis based on publications in the core journals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1150-1168, April.
    7. Graves, Philip & Marchand, James & Thompson, Randall, 1984. "Economics Departmental Rankings: Reply and Errata [Economics Departmental Rankings: Research Incentives, Constraints, and Efficiency]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 834-836, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Denny & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2003. "Functional literacy, educational attainment and earnings : a multi-country comparison," Working Papers 200319, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    2. Denny, Kevin & Harmon, Colm, 2000. "Education Policy Reform and the Return to Schooling from Instrumental Variables," CEPR Discussion Papers 2518, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Colm Harmon & Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2003. "Education, earnings and skills : a multi-country comparison," Open Access publications 10197/649, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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