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Crisis, Response and Distributional Impact: The Case of Ireland

Author

Listed:
  • Callan, Tim

    () (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Nolan, Brian

    () (University College Dublin)

  • Keane, Claire

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Savage, Michael

    () (University College Dublin)

  • Walsh, John R.

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

Abstract

Ireland is one of the countries most severely affected by the Great Recession. National income fell by more than 10 per cent between 2007 and 2012, as a result of the bursting of a remarkable property bubble, an exceptionally severe banking crisis, and deep fiscal adjustment. This paper examines the income distribution consequences of the recession, and identifies the impact of a broad range of austerity policies on the income distribution. The overall fall in income was just under 8 per cent between 2008 and 2011, but the greatest losses were strongly concentrated on the bottom and top deciles. Tax, welfare and public sector pay changes over the 2008 to 2012 period gave rise to lower than average losses for the bottom decile. Thus, the larger than average losses observed overall are not due to these policy changes; instead, the main driving factors are the direct effects of the recession itself. Policy changes do contribute to the larger than average losses at high income levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian & Keane, Claire & Savage, Michael & Walsh, John R., 2013. "Crisis, Response and Distributional Impact: The Case of Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 7481, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7481
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul, Satya, 2004. "Income sources effects on inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 435-451, February.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2010. "Analysing the effects of tax-benefit reforms on income distribution: a decomposition approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, March.
    3. Donald O’Neil & Olive Sweetman, 2001. "Inequality in Ireland 1987-1994: A Comparison Using Measures of Income and Consumption," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 10(3-4), pages 2-2, September.
    4. Jeff Larrimore & Richard V. Burkhauser & Philip Armour, 2013. "Accounting for Income Changes over the Great Recession (2007-2010) Relative to Previous Recessions: The Importance of Taxes and Transfers," NBER Working Papers 19699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan & Karina Doorley & Claire Keane, 2017. "Changes in Income Distributions and the Role of Tax‐Benefit Policy During the Great Recession: An International Perspective," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 38, pages 559-585, December.
    6. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Savage, Michael & Walsh, John R., 2013. "Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Service Pay Policies: Budget 2014 and Budgets 2009-2014," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Savage, Michael & Walsh, John R. & Timoney, Kevin, 2012. "Work Incentives: New Evidence for Ireland," Papers BP2013/3, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Znuderl, Nusa & Kearney, Ide, 2013. "User Cost of Debt-Financed Capital in Irish Manufacturing Industry: 1985 ? 2011," Papers WP448, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
    10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    11. Fuest, Clemens & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU," IZA Discussion Papers 4520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1350-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marcell Zoltán Végh, 2014. "Has Austerity Succeeded in Ameliorating the Economic Climate? The Cases of Ireland, Cyprus and Greece," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-20, June.
    4. David Madden, 2014. "Winners and Losers on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland, 2003-2011," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(3), pages 405-421.
    5. Adele Bergin & Elish Kelly & Seamus McGuinness, 2015. "Changes in labour market transitions in Ireland over the Great Recession: what role for policy?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    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. Gerlach, Petra, 2013. "The Effect of Unemployment, Arrears and Negative Equity on Consumption: Ireland in 2009/10," Papers WP457, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & Duffy, David & Timoney, Kevin & Znuderl, Nusa, 2013. "Medium-Term Review: 2013-2020, No. 12," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number MTR12.
    9. Gerlach, Petra, 2013. "Younger and Older Households in the Crisis," Research Notes RN2013/1/4, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. repec:kap:jbuset:v:146:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3238-z is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext248 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Grabka, Markus M., 2015. "Income and Wealth Inequality after the Financial Crisis: The Case of Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 371-390.
    14. Savage, Micheal & Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian & Colgan, Brian, 2015. "The Great Recession, Austerity and Inequality: Evidence from Ireland," Papers WP499, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    15. David Madden, 2015. "Health and Wealth on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland, 2003–2011," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 387-412, April.
    16. repec:esr:wpaper:rn2013/1/4 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. David (David Patrick) Madden & Michael Savage, 2015. "Which Households Matter Most? Capturing Equity Considerations in Tax Reform via Generalised Social Marginal Welfare Weights," Working Papers 201502, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    18. Christopher T Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître, 2016. "Economic stress and the great recession in Ireland:- the erosion of social class advantage," Working Papers 201613, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    19. Michael Savage, 2016. "Poorest Made Poorer? Decomposing income losses at the bottom of the income distribution during the Great Recession," Papers WP528, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    20. Gerlach, Petra & Merola, Rossana, 2013. "Consumption and Credit Constraints: A Model and Evidence for Ireland," Papers WP471, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    21. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maítre, 2016. "The Great Recession and the Changing Distribution of Economic Stress across Income Classes and the Life Course in Ireland: A Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 201603, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax; income distribution; recession; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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