Poverty in Ireland in Comparative European Perspective
Whelan, Christopher T.
In this paper we seek to put Irish poverty rates in a comparative European context. We do so in a context whereby the Irish economic boom and EU enlargement have led to increasing reservations being expressed regarding rates deriving from the EU 'at risk of poverty' indicator. Our comparative analysis reports findings for both overall levels of poverty and variation by household reference person characteristics for this indicator and a consistent poverty measure for Ireland, the UK and five smaller European countries spanning a range of welfare regimes. Our finding demonstrate that the distinctiveness of Ireland's situation lies not in the overall levels of poverty per se but in the very high penalties associated with being in household where the household reference person is a lone parent or excluded from the labour market.
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