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Socio-Economic Variation in the Impact of the Irish Recession on the Experience of Economic Stress among Families

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  • Dorothy Watson

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland)

  • Christopher T. Whelan

    (University College Dublin, Ireland)

  • Bertrand Maitre

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland)

  • James Williams

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland)

Abstract

In this paper we draw on the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) data to examine the impact of pre-recession socio-economic characteristics on the economic stress levels of households with children. Our results provide some support for the polarisation argument, with the largest increases in absolute percentage point terms occurring towards the bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy. However, this was accompanied by sharp attenuation of socio economic inequalities in stress and a dramatic increase in the heterogeneity of economically stressed households. The analysis shows that the reality is more complex than either the “class polarisation” or “middle class squeeze” hypotheses would suggest. The results create a new set of challenges for policy that require a careful balancing of issues of legitimacy, the need to meet very broad-based needs for services and the more traditional targeted assistance to vulnerable groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorothy Watson & Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maitre & James Williams, 2016. "Socio-Economic Variation in the Impact of the Irish Recession on the Experience of Economic Stress among Families," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 47(4), pages 477-498.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:47:y:2016:i:4:p:477-498
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sebastian Dellepiane & Niamh Hardiman, 2012. "The New Politics of Austerity: Fiscal Responses to the Economic Crisis in Ireland and Spain," Working Papers 201207, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Nolan, Brian & Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele & Marx, Ive & McKnight, Abigail & Toth, Istvan Gy (ed.), 2014. "Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199687428.
    3. Christopher Whelan & Helen Russell & Bertrand Maître, 2016. "Economic Stress and the Great Recession in Ireland: Polarization, Individualization or ‘Middle Class Squeeze’?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 503-526, March.
    4. Kellie J. Archer & Stanley Lemeshow, 2006. "Goodness-of-fit test for a logistic regression model fitted using survey sample data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(1), pages 97-105, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre, 2017. "Polarization or “Squeezed Middle” in the Great Recession?: A Comparative European Analysis of the Distribution of Economic Stress," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 163-184, August.
    7. Sebastian Dellepiane & Niamh Hardiman, 2011. "Governing the Irish Economy: A Triple Crisis," Working Papers 201103, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    8. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître, 2018. "Economic Stress and the Great Recession in Ireland: The Erosion of Social Class Advantage," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 49(3), pages 259-286.
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    Cited by:

    1. Regan, Mark & Maitre, Bertrand, 2020. "Child poverty in Ireland and the pandemic recession," Papers BP2021/4, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Dorothy Watson & Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maître & Helen Russell, 2018. "Social Class and Conversion Capacity: Deprivation Trends in the Great Recession in Ireland," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 549-570, November.
    3. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître, 2018. "Economic Stress and the Great Recession in Ireland: The Erosion of Social Class Advantage," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 49(3), pages 259-286.

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