IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eso/journl/v48y2017i1p1-26.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Changing Nature of Irish Wage Inequality from Boom to Bust

Author

Listed:
  • Niamh Holton

    (Central Statistics Office)

  • Donal O'Neill

    (Maynooth University)

Abstract

The dramatic change in economic conditions in Ireland over the last ten years provides an opportunity to examine the impact of large macroeconomic shocks on inequality. We analyse wage inequality in Ireland, from the height of an economic boom, through a very deep recession, to the start of a recovery. In keeping with previous work we find that the dispersion in wages increased towards the height of the boom, driven largely by rising returns to skill. However the economic crisis of 2008-2013 was accompanied by a significant reduction in wage dispersion. Although the improving characteristics of the workforce increased wages for all workers over this period, this was offset by falling returns to these skills. Only workers in the lowest decile were unaffected by declining returns, resulting in a reduction in wage inequality during the recession. Our analysis highlights the important role played by the National Minimum Wage in this process.

Suggested Citation

  • Niamh Holton & Donal O'Neill, 2017. "The Changing Nature of Irish Wage Inequality from Boom to Bust," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 1-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:1-26
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.esr.ie/article/view/674/152
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Dolton & Chiara Rosazza Bondibene & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2012. "Employment, Inequality and the UK National Minimum Wage over the Medium‐Term," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 78-106, February.
    2. Sarah Voitchovsky & Bertrand Maitre & Brian Nolan, 2012. "Wage Inequality in Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” Boom," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 99-133.
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    4. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    5. Aedín Doris & Donal O’Neill & Olive Sweetman, 2015. "Wage flexibility and the great recession: the response of the Irish labour market," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    6. Callan,Tim & Keane,Claire & Savage,Michael & Walsh,John R., 2012. "Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Sector Pay Policies: 2009-2012," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2012(4-Winter ).
    7. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    8. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
    9. Stéphane Bonhomme & Laura Hospido, 2017. "The Cycle of Earnings Inequality: Evidence from Spanish Social Security Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1244-1278, August.
    10. David H. Autor & Alan Manning & Christopher L. Smith, 2016. "The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 58-99, January.
    11. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & John Walsh, 2011. "The Economic Crisis, Public Sector Pay and the Income Distribution," Research in Labor Economics, in: Herwig Immervoll & Andreas Peichl & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.),Who Loses in the Downturn? Economic Crisis, Employment and Income Distribution, volume 32, pages 207-225, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    12. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    13. Dauth, Wolfgang & Schmerer, Hans-Joerg & Winkler, Erwin, 2015. "Exporters and wage inequality during the Great Recession—Evidence from Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 137-140.
    14. Andrew Newell & Mieczyslaw W. Socha, 2007. "The Polish wage inequality explosion," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 733-758, October.
    15. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2013. "Consumption and Income Inequality and the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 178-183, May.
    16. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
    17. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Claire Keane & Michael Savage & John Walsh, 2014. "Crisis, response and distributional impact: the case of Ireland," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    18. Brian Nolan & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2016. "Job loss by wage level: lessons from the Great Recession in Ireland," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-29, December.
    19. Mário Centeno & Álvaro Novo, 2014. "When supply meets demand: wage inequality in Portugal," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    20. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    21. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
    22. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ces:ifodic:v:16:y:2019:i:4:p:50000000004804 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. PaulRedmond & SeamusMcGuinness, 2019. "Assessing the Impact of the Minimum Wage in Ireland," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(04), pages 23-26, January.
    3. Redmond, Paul & Doorley, Karina & McGuinness, Seamus, 2019. "The impact of a change in the National Minimum Wage on the distribution of hourly wages and household income in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS86, December.
    4. Logue, Caitriona & Colgan, Brian & Callan, Tim, 2016. "Low Pay, Minimum Wages and Household Incomes: Evidence for Ireland," Papers BP2017/3, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Redmond, Paul & Doorley, Karina & McGuinness, Seamus, 2020. "The Impact of a Minimum Wage Change on the Distribution of Wages and Household Income," IZA Discussion Papers 12914, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Cathal O’Donoghue & Jason Loughrey & Denisa M. Sologon, 2018. "Decomposing the Drivers of Changes in Inequality During the Great Recession in Ireland using the Fields Approach," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 49(2), pages 173-200.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; minimum wage; Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:1-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martina Lawless). General contact details of provider: https://www.esr.ie .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.