188 research outputs found

    THE AGEING WORKFORCE IN IRELAND: WORKING CONDITIONS, HEALTH AND EXTENDING WORKING LIVES. ESRI RESEARCH SERIES NUMBER 92 OCTOBER 2019

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    Extending working lives is a central element of active ageing policy in Ireland and Europe, and is seen as promoting active lifestyles and sustaining social protection systems in the context of an ageing population. However, efforts to extend working life must consider the reasons why workers leave employment early. Simply raising the minimum retirement age will not build sustainable jobs. A central element of this picture is the health and working conditions faced by older workers. This project explores the retention of older workers in Ireland, drawing on several sources of data to describe their experience in the Irish labour market. While there is no official age threshold to classify a worker as an older worker, the literature on ageing workforce often focuses on workers aged 55 and over.1 In Ireland, according to the 2018 Labour Force Survey, there are currently 396,060 workers in this age category, accounting for 18 per cent of the employed population. We set out to explore the following questions: • How do the working conditions and the health of older workers compare to those of younger workers? • What types of jobs and working conditions are associated with perceived ability to work longer? • Which sectors and occupations are best able to retain older workers? • Among those who exit early (aged 55–59 years), what are their reasons for leaving work? • Are older workers more vulnerable to fatal injury in the workforce? Are they embedded in sectors prone to injury

    Identifying Childhood Deprivation: How Well do National Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Ireland Perform?

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    In light of widespread agreement that poverty and social exclusion should be understood as multidimensional phenomenon, in this paper we explore the practical implications of such an understanding in relation to widely employed indicators of such phenomena in Ireland. One persistent critique of the current national measures of poverty and social exclusion comes from those who feel that the findings they produce are inaccurate in relation to particular stages of the life-course. To date the critiques in the Irish case have been accompanied by relatively little in the way of systematic research documenting the alleged limitations of national measures. In this paper we have taken advantage of the inclusion of a special module on childhood deprivation in EU-SILC 2009 to explore such issues in more depth. Our analysis reveals that, to the extent that national measures fail to identify childhood deprivation, this is largely a consequence of limitations in capturing wider command over economic resources and distinctive risk profiles in relation to exposure to deprivation and economic stress. Overall our analysis leads us to the conclusion that those exposed to childhood deprivation are generally a sub-set of the children captured by national indicators. Adopting a multidimensional and dynamic perspective on household resources and deprivation enables us to capture the large majority of children exposed to childhood deprivation. Conversely restricting our attention to childhood deprivation would lead us to miss out on larger numbers of children living in households experiencing basic deprivation. The national measures of poverty and social exclusion that have been employed in the Irish case are largely successful in capturing childhood deprivation.

    Identifying Economically Vulnerable Groups as the Economic Crisis Emerged

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    A frequent refrain during recent debates on welfare cuts and tax increases has related to the need to “protect the vulnerable”. However, it is far from clear that a consensus exists on which individuals or groups are to be included under this heading with a consequent lack of clarity for the policy implications of pursuing this goal. In this paper, operating with a conception of social exclusion that incorporates notions of dynamics and multidimensionality, we make use of EUSILC 2008 data for Ireland to clarify the distinction between income poverty and economic vulnerability. We then proceed to consider the relationship between these outcomes and multiple deprivation, financial pressures and perceptions of recent and future economic prospects. Our analysis is then extended to compare patterns of risk for poverty and vulnerability in relation to key socio-economic groups. Finally, we will consider the relationship between poverty and vulnerability and the distribution of welfare dependence. Our analysis suggests that the vulnerable but non-poor group may need to be a key focus of policy attention in the future.

    AN EXAMINATION OF THE LABOUR MARKET TRANSITIONS OF MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS IN IRELAND. ESRI RESEARCH SERIES NUMBER 75 October 2018

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    A national minimum wage (NMW) was first introduced in Ireland in 2000, with an initial rate of €5.58 per hour.1 The rate was increased in subsequent years, so that by July 2007 the minimum wage stood at €8.65 per hour. However, from 2007 to 2015 there were no further increases in the NMW. Following recommendations from the Irish Low Pay Commission, which was established in 2015, the NMW was increased in January 2016 from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour, the first increase in nine years. It was further increased to €9.25 per hour in January 2017 and to €9.55 per hour in January 2018, the figure at which it currently stands. In 2016 a question was added to the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) which directly asks employees whether their hourly wage is equal to, above or below the NMW. According to this new measure, the incidence of minimum wage employment was 10.1 per cent in 2016 and 8.2 per cent in 2017.2 Previous work by Maître et al. (2017), investigating the characteristics of minimum wage workers in Ireland, found that women, non-Irish nationals, younger persons, people with lower levels of education and part-time workers were more likely to be on the minimum wage. In this study, we use this new measure of minimum wage employment in Ireland to assess the degree to which individuals in receipt of the NMW transition in and out of NMW employment over a period of three quarters in 2016 and 2017. The objective of the analysis is as follows: (a) to identify the labour market status and key characteristics of individuals moving out of NMW employment to higher pay; (b) to assess the extent to which NMW status is transitory and to identify the rate at which NMW employees transition to higher paid jobs; (c) to examine whether minimum wage employees are more likely to transition to unemployment or inactivity relative to higher paid workers

    Earnings Inequality, Institutions and the Macroeconomy – What Can We Learn from Ireland’s Boom Years?

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    Rapid economic growth is often expected to lead to increased returns to education and skills and thus to rising wage inequality. Ireland offers a valuable case study, with distinctive wage-setting institutions and exceptional rates of growth in output, employment and incomes in the Celtic Tiger period from 1994 to 2007. We find that dispersion in (hourly) wage inequality fell sharply to 2000, before increasing though much less sharply to 2007. Returns to both education and work experience declined considerable in the earlier period, while the increase in lower earnings relative to the median was associated with the introduction of the minimum wage in 2000, anchoring the bottom of the distribution. For 2000-2007 the faster increase in higher earnings may be associated with the changing pattern of immigration and of the employment growth in the second half of the boom, Further exploration of the factors at work towards the top of the distribution during these years is an important research priority.

    Immigrants and Welfare Receipt in Ireland

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    Since 2004, Ireland has included in its system of social welfare payments criteria for receipt which limit the extent to which immigrants can receive welfare payments. In this paper, we compare the rates of receipt of welfare for immigrants and natives to see if the outcome is consistent with the operation of this policy. Using data from 2008, we generally find lower rates of welfare receipt among immigrants. While the numbers of immigrants claiming unemployment-related payments surged at the outset of the recession, there appears to have been a quicker stabilisation in the number of immigrants claiming such benefits relative to natives, based on official data from 2007 to 2010. This would be consistent with the on-going implementation of the type of criteria introduced in 2004.Ireland, immigrants, welfare

    Access to Childcare and Home Care Services across Europe. An Analysis of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC), 2016. Social Inclusion Report No 8. September 2019

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    This report uses EU-SILC data for 2016 to examine differences by social risk group and social class in access to care services – specifically, childcare and home care for people with an illness or disability. We focus on 11 countries and four welfare regimes across Europe. We also examine the association between access to these services and both poverty and employment. There are three main findings. First, countries with universal services, or a strong welfare state, provide greater access to care overall, and greater access for vulnerable social risk and social class groups. Countries with means tested services offer lower coverage which results in a greater chance of unmet need for care. Second, certain social-risk groups have a higher chance of experiencing unmet need for childcare and home care. Social class or household composition differences within such groups cannot fully explain their likelihood of reporting unmet need. This suggests that social-risk groups are particularly vulnerable to unmet need. Third, unmet need for childcare and home care is associated with deprivation and, in the case of childcare, non-employment. In this way, unmet need for childcare in particular may act as a barrier to labour market participation. Although our analysis cannot establish a causal link between the two, unmet care need and non-employment are related, and could be a significant force for social exclusion. Policy efforts should limit the experience of unmet care needs

    GENDER, PENSIONS AND INCOME IN RETIREMENT. ESRI RESEARCH SERIES NUMBER 87 SEPTEMBER 2019

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    This report examines key dimensions of the policy debate around gender and pensions in Ireland, namely the gender pension gap, income poverty, and financial decision-making. The research summarises three studies carried out as part of a programme of research at the Economic and Social Research institute (ESRI) funded by the Pensions Council. Women may face a number of potential issues both before and during retirement that can have a cumulative impact resulting in significantly lower financial security in retirement than men. In retirement, pension income accounts for most of the income of men and women in Ireland (Central Statistics Office (CSO), 2013). A woman aged 65–79 in the EU-28 received a pension that was on average 38 per cent lower than her male counterpart in 2016; the corresponding figure for Ireland was 26 per cent (European Commission, 2018). Overall, the older population has fared better than other age groups in terms of the experience of income poverty in Ireland in recent years. However, there remains a proportion (currently just under 9 per cent) who live in income poverty (CSO, 2018), despite the fact that the level of older age state benefits should be sufficient to keep this group out of income poverty. Demographic trends mean that older women, who live longer than men, will make up a larger share of the population, and will be increasingly likely to live alone (European Commission, 2018). This means that older women will need to assume greater responsibility for their own financial security in older age. For any policy to tackle successfully gender differences in economic outcomes in older age, it is also important to understand how men and women may differ in terms of financial decision-making. Decisions about many aspects of economic life are shaped by attitudes to risk, time preferences and financial literacy skills, and there is evidence that men and women differ in some aspects of these key dimensions of decision making

    Analysing Intergenerational Influences on Income Poverty and Economic Vulnerability with EU-SILC

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    The EU-SILC 2005 wave includes a special module on inter-generational transmission of poverty. In addition to the standard data relating to income and material deprivation, the information relating to parental background and childhood circumstances was collected for all household members or selected respondents aged over 24 and less than 66 at the end of the income reference period. In principle, the module provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine on a comparative European basis the relationship between current poverty and social exclusion outcomes and parental characteristics and childhood economic circumstances. In this paper we seek to exploit such potential. In pursuing this objective, it is necessary to address some of the limitations of the data. We do by restricting our attention to a set of countries where data issues seem less extreme. In addition we employ ‘dominance procedures in relation to parents’ education and social class to reduce the scale of the missing values problem. Finally, we compare findings from one dimensional and multidimensional approaches in order to provide an assessment of the extent to which our analysis provides a coherent account of the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.Poverty, Intergenerational, EU-SILC

    Discrimination and Inequality in Housing in Ireland. ESRI Research Series, June 2018

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    Access to housing is a fundamental human right protected under international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Social Charter. Adequate housing is also necessary for the achievement of other basic rights such as health and family life and is central to quality of life of adults and children. In Ireland, discrimination in the provision of housing is prohibited under the Equal Status Acts (2000- 2015). Starting from these legislative protections, in this study we consider whether certain groups in Ireland experience higher levels of discrimination in access to housing and whether they experience unequal housing outcomes. Membership of these groups is linked to other relevant characteristics, most importantly socio-economic background. Therefore, this study investigates whether equality groups experience disadvantages in housing outcomes that cannot be fully explained by their socio-economic resources. The study of housing discrimination and outcomes has become even more pressing in recent years because of the marked undersupply of housing in Ireland and problems of affordability
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