Quality of Life in Ireland: Social Impact of Economic Boom by Tony Fahey, Helen Russell, Christopher T. Whelan

By Tony Fahey, Helen Russell, Christopher T. Whelan

The Celtic Tiger has triggered the Irish economic system to roar forward, yet what has it performed to Irish society? a few see the emerging tide as having lifted all boats, whereas others argue that the advantages have amassed usually to those that have been already good positioned. a few spotlight how financial progress has raised residing criteria, whereas others say that it has imposed traces on relatives lifestyles, eroded values and groups, and created difficulties in having access to enough housing, wellbeing and fitness care and different companies. So, are we in eire now residing within the better of occasions , or has elevated prosperity come at (too excessive) a price? the aim of this booklet, which includes a set of chapters written by means of a few of Ireland's prime social researchers, is to carry to undergo the newest examine and empirical proof to reply to those questions. it really is aimed toward a basic viewers and seeks to give a contribution to public debate in eire, whereas even as striving for rigorous, evidence-based argument.

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However some commentators suggest that much of the employment growth during the 1990s was concentrated in households that were already attached to the labour market and that many people were left behind by the boom. This thesis also holds that the Celtic Tiger was accompanied by a deterioration in the quality of work in terms of security, control and skill, and dismisses most employment growth as unskilled. There has been a particular focus on the role of part-time work, with the assumption that part-time work is of poor quality and is casualised.

Economic Growth and Income Inequality: Setting the Context 39 It is important, however, to emphasise that this was taking place in a context where real incomes and living standards were improving throughout the distribution. This is highlighted by the very different picture conveyed by income thresholds held constant in purchasing power terms rather than indexed to average incomes. Suppose, for example, we take the 60 per cent of median threshold in 1997, the middle of the period of very rapid growth, when about 18 per cent fell below that threshold.

Such commentary is also found in other countries. It propounds the idea that those who are usually assumed to have benefited from economic advance are more to be pitied than envied. Why? Because for all their material success they are likely to have lost out on happiness and to be living psychologically impoverished lives. This chapter has taken a sceptical view of such commentary, both as applied to rich countries generally and more particularly to Ireland in the Celtic Tiger era. Certainly, as the critics suggest, economic growth has not How do we feel?

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