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A Comparative Perspective on Trends in Income Inequality in Ireland

  • Brian Nolan

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute)

  • Bertrand Maitre

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute)

Both overall income inequality and inequality in the distribution of earnings rose sharply during the 1980s and 1990s in a number of industrialised countries, notably the UK and the USA. This makes it particularly important to know how the distribution of income in Ireland has been changing over time, how it compares with other countries, and what factors contribute to explaining Ireland’s particular experience. This paper addresses these issues with household survey data allowing us to provide a picture of the distribution of household income in Ireland up to 1997. This allows us to assess for the first time how inequality has been changing during Ireland’s boom. Comparisons are also made with recent estimates for other countries, notably from the European Community Household Panel, so that both Ireland’s current distribution and trends over time can be placed in comparative perspective. A decomposition analysis of changes over time is implemented, and trends in the distribution of earnings among individual employees are also analysed.

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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 329-350

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:31:y:2000:i:4:p:329-350
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  1. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 1996. "A Review of the Commission on Social Welfare's Minimum Adequate Income," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS29.
  2. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Cathal O'Donoghue, 1996. "What Has Happened to Replacement Rates?," Papers WP076, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Madden, D. & Smith, F., 2000. "Poverty in Ireland, 1987-1994: a Stochastic Dominance Approach," Papers 00/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  4. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
  6. John DiNardo & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Diverging male wage inequality in the United States and Canada, 1981-1988: Do institutions explain the difference?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 629-651, July.
  7. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2000. "Was Ireland better off in 1994 than in 1987?," Working Papers 200011, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. Davidson, Russell & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Cahiers de recherche 9805, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  9. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-82, September.
  10. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman, 1999. "Poverty and Inequality in Ireland: A Comparison using Measures of Income and Consumption," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n860399, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  11. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
  12. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  13. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  14. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan, 1990. "Income Distribution and Redistribution: Ireland in Comparative Perspective," Papers WP017, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  15. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  16. Sara Cantillon & Brian Nolan, 1996. "Are Married Women More Deprived than Their Husbands?," Papers WP073, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  17. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Brendan J. & Hannan, Damian F. & Creighton, S., 1989. "Poverty, Income and Welfare in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS146.
  18. Rottman, David B. & Hannan, Damian F. & Hardiman, Niamh & Wiley, Miriam M., 1982. "The Distribution of Income in the Republic of Ireland: A Study in Social Class and Family-Cycle Inequalities," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS109.
  19. Richard Layte & Bertrand Maître & Brian Nolan & Dorothy Watson & James Williams & Barra Casey, 2000. "Monitoring Poverty Trends: Results from the 1998 Living in Ireland Survey," Papers WP132, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  20. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  21. Russell Davidson, 2006. "Stochastic Dominance," Departmental Working Papers 2006-19, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  22. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan, 1993. "Income Inequality and Poverty in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s," Papers WP043, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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