Posts in the "Inequality" category

NERI Seminar: A Future Worth Working For

Posted on April 09, 2015 by Daragh McCarthy

Yesterday's seminar given by the Director of the NERI, Tom Healy, focused on setting the parameters for a clear, long-term vision for the Irish economy to emerge. The seminar is based on a recent working paper that argues this vision must be based on concrete goals that can be observed, measured and contrasted—as opposed to pious aspirations. The paper is not intended as a blueprint or model that is to be rolled out, but as a contribution to a debate on our economic future.

Over the course of the presentation, Dr Healy reviewed the key economic and social challenges facing the island of Ireland in the coming three decades and suggests an overarching framework to better understand:

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityInvestmentJobsTaxationWages

NERI Seminar: Deprivation on the Island of Ireland

Posted on March 06, 2015 by Daragh McCarthy

Trutz Haase - Trutz Haas, Social and Economic Consultant
Trutz Haas, Social and Economic Consultant

Trutz Haase was the speaker at the most recent NERI seminar on deprivation on the island of Ireland. Over the course of the presentation, Trutz provided an overview of the Irish deprivation indices, covering the conceptual underpinnings of the 2011 Pobal Haase-Pratschke (HP) Deprivation Index for Small Areas. He then disucssed the relevance of deprivation indices in researching the effects of social class on key socio-economic outcomes (particularly health), and its practical application in targeting government expenditure to areas of need.


Haase, Trutz and Pratschke Jonathan (2012)  "A longitudinal study of area-level deprivation in Ireland, 1991–2011Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 2014, volume 41

Permanent link | Categories: Inequality

Wealth in Ireland – at last some robust data

Posted on February 18, 2015 by Micheál Collins

Despite its prominence in various public policy discussions over recent years, detailed information on wealth in Ireland has been sparse. For the most part discussion on the distribution of wealth, and concepts such as a wealth tax, were based on hunches and guestimates or assumptions that the wealth distribution must have in some way resembled the income distribution (at least as unequal and probably worse).

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityTaxation

Riches and Poverty

Posted on February 01, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

Two statistical releases from the Central Statistics Office in recent weeks did not attract as much public attention as deserved. One report concerns trends and distribution of income (EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions) while the other concerns the level and distribution of wealth in Ireland. The latter was released under the title of the ‘Household Finance and Consumption Survey’ and was part of a European wide survey sponsored by the European Central Bank. The EUSILC survey showed an alarming increase in poverty (‘material deprivation’ is the measure used) including deprivation among children, older people and single parents. The other survey showed – for the first time – a robust statistical survey of wealth in the Republic of Ireland and how it is distributed across different households.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityWages

Pensioners and the Income Distribution

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Micheál Collins

Pensioners (those aged 65 years and above) comprise almost 12% of the population of the Republic of Ireland. However, they are far from a homogeneous group, differing by health, wealth, income and marital status among other things. A new NERI Research inBrief, examines pensioners under just one of these headings – income.

The research finds that, for the most part, pensioners sit in the middle of the income distribution (above the bottom 20% but below the top 40%). Overall, 60% of pensioners are in the bottom half of the income distribution while 40% are in the top half.

It is useful to know where pensioners are in the income distribution given considerations of policy changes to areas such as taxes, pensions and free or subsidised public services.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

Working and living below the poverty line: ‘The Working Poor’

Posted on January 13, 2015 by Micheál Collins

2015 looks set to be a year when those at the bottom of the earnings distribution receive increased attention. Government will shortly establish a low pay commission which will (among other things) review the minimum wage. Later this month the CSO will provide new data on incomes and earnings (SILC) and during the summer the Living Wage technical group will update its estimate of the hourly earnings required to provide a basic, yet decent, standard of living for a full-time worker. No doubt those described as the ‘working poor’ will be frequently mentioned.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityJobsLabour costsLiving wageWages

Ireland's Income Distribution: recent trends

Posted on December 16, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Judged in an international context, Ireland is a high income country. The 2014 United Nations Human Development Report ranks Ireland as having the 28th highest gross national income per person in the world – with an average income at almost two and a half times the world average. Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that average incomes, also measured as gross national income per person, stood at €32,599 in 2013 – a historically high figure, though lower than the peaks achieved in the years immediately before the recent economic recession.

However, while overall averages are interesting, they assume an equal distribution of income across the population. In reality, income is not so evenly spread.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

NERI Seminar: Spatial Justice and Lessons from the Crisis

Posted on December 11, 2014 by Daragh McCarthy

Stand Logo - Nevin Economic Research Institute
Nevin Economic Research Institute

The latest NERI seminar, Some Lessons from the Crisis: Spatial Justice, Uneven Development and Future Choices, was held yesterday in the INTO Learning Centre. Gerry Kearns (professor of geography, Maynooth University) and David Meredith (senior research officer, Teagasc) outlined a concern that, as a society, we are lying the foundations for a return to a pro-cyclical economic merry-go-round resulting in further concentration of capital, social injustices and uneven spatial development. They highlighted the danger that despite the hardship and sacrifices that we ‘wasted a serious crisis’ (Rahm Emanuel).

In developing these ideas, the talk provided an overview of spatial changes in the composition of the labour force and youth migration patterns. This draws attention to the presence of long run trends towards economic agglomeration within some regions, weakening of others and the ultimate futility of repeating historical initiatives in the hope that this time the outcome will somehow be different.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityInvestmentJobsMacroeconomics

Income: The Gender Divide

Posted on December 02, 2014 by Micheál Collins

There are many measures examining differences in various socio-economic characteristics among men and women. In general, women are better educated, healthier, live longer but earn less – factors which in themselves point towards gaps in societal equality for both sexes.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequality

Thoughts on the funding of water services

Posted on November 05, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile

Next week the NERI will be holding a seminar on the topical issue of water charges (detail are here). In advance of the seminar, this blog provides some thoughts on funding water services in Ireland.

Access to clean and affordable water is a human right. Yet there is no such thing as free water. On an annual basis, the provision of water and wastewater services costs in excess of €1 billion. Water is difficult to transport and a consistent and secure supply of clean water is expensive to provide. Indeed the provision of water and waste water services requires the construction, maintenance, operation and improvement of expensive network infrastructure. The question isn’t ‘whether’ we should pay for water and wastewater services but ‘how’ we should pay for them.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestment

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