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The SocialWelfare Pensions in Ireland: Pensioner Poverty and Gender

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  • Rod Hick

    (The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

This paper examines changes to value of the state pensions and poverty rates for older men and women during the two terms of the Fianna Fáil — Progressive Democrat coalition government in Ireland between 1997 and 2007. It is shown that despite consistent increases in the value of the state pensions relative to earnings, poverty increased during the initial years of the period only to fall dramatically thereafter. While the increase in poverty at the 50 per cent median income rate between 1997 and 2001 was experienced disproportionately by women, there has also been an important gender dimension to the reduction in poverty amongst the over 65s since 2001. Since 2003, women have been no more likely than men to fall below the 50 per cent of median income poverty line or to fall below the 60 per cent line since 2004. However, analysis of data from the 2006 Irish release of the EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions shows that older women remained more likely than men to experience poverty as measured at 70 per cent of median income. A logistic regression model is used to identify underlying differences in poverty rates between men and women after adjusting for other independent variables. The results show that after adjusting for differences in occupation, household composition, geography and health status, the odds of a woman falling below the 70 per cent median income line remained 1.25 times that of a man.

Suggested Citation

  • Rod Hick, 2009. "The SocialWelfare Pensions in Ireland: Pensioner Poverty and Gender," Working Papers 200902, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200902
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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200902.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Fuchs & Aaron George Grech & Asghar Zaidi, 2006. "Pension Policy in EU25 and its Possible Impact on Elderly Poverty," CASE Papers case116, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
    3. Whelan, Christopher T. & Layte, Richard & Maitre, Bertrand & Gannon, Brenda & Nolan, Brian & Watson, Dorothy & Williams, James, 2003. "Monitoring Poverty trends in Ireland: Results from the 2001 Living in Ireland Survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS51.
    4. Whelan, Christopher T. & Nolan, Brian & Maitre, Bertrand, 2005. "Trends in Welfare for Vulnerable Groups, Ireland 1994-2001," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS56.
    5. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Do we need a separate poverty measurement?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 61-85, March.
    6. Maitre, Bertrand & Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2006. "Reconfiguring the Measurement of Deprivation and Consistent Poverty in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS58.
    7. Peter Saunders & Bruce Bradbury, 2006. "Monitoring Trends in Poverty and Income Distribution: Data, Methodology and Measurement," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(258), pages 341-364, September.
    8. Nolan, Brian & Russell, Helen, 2001. "Non-Cash Benefits and Poverty in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS39.
    9. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian, 1991. " Concepts of Poverty and the Poverty Line," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 243-261.
    10. Hughes, Gerard & Watson, Dorothy, 2005. "Pensioners' Incomes and Replacement Rates in 2000," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS54.
    11. Whitehouse, Edward, 2006. "New indicators of 30 OECD countries' pension systems," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 275-298, November.
    12. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Christopher Whelan, 1991. "Resources, Deprivation and the Measurement of Poverty. Published in Journal of Social Policy, 1993, Vol 22 No 2," Papers WP021, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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