Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Some Papers About Unemployment in Ireland in the 80's and 90's

Here are a few papers about unemployment in Ireland that I found recently (the full titles of the papers are at the bottom).

The most recent is by Brendan Walsh; it deals with cyclical and structural influences on Irish unemployment. Walsh describes the massive reduction in Irish unemployment over the course of the 1990's. Competitiveness, the generosity of the social welfare system and the wage bargaining process are all discussed; these are issues which have been topical in recent months.

The second is a report by Eithne Fitzgerald, Brid Ingolsby and Fiona Daly; it discusses lessons from policy innovation for solving long-term unemployment in Dublin. (Current policy initiatives on the national level are summarised here; and details of the new DETE Activation Fund are available here).

The third is a paper by Eric Strobl and Paul Walsh on structural change and long-term unemployment in Ireland. These authors discuss the build-up in male long-term unemployment which occurred throughout the 1980's in Ireland. (Long-term unemployment in Ireland increased by 55% in the year ending October 2009).

At present, 1 out of 8 individuals in the Irish labour force are unemployed. Taking account of labour force withdrawal and reduced working time, it is estimated that approximately 1 out of 7 are in some form of labour market distress. Gender breakdowns indicate that 2 out of 3 of these individuals are male. The latest Live Register figures show that almost twice as many men are claiming unemployment benefit (or allowance), compared to women.

* Walsh, 2000, "Cyclical and Structural Influences on Irish Unemployment"
* Fitzgerald, Ingolsby & Daly, 2000, "Solving Long-Term Unemployment in Dublin: The Lessons from Policy Innovation"
* Strobl and Walsh, 1996, "Structural Change and Long-Term Unemployment in Ireland"


Liam Delaney said...

good - there are also a number of papers by Honohan, Harrison and others looking at the relationship between Irish unemployment and UK unemployment. Some of this literature is summarised in Alan Barret's 1999 IZA paper. In the Honohan model, UK labour demand is a key factor influencing Irish migration and employment, something that feels part of the current explanation certainly.


Martin Ryan said...

Thanks for the link to the Barrett paper Liam. While we're considering the interaction of unemployment with emigration, I should flag an interesting article from last week's Irish Times:


The article states that current statistics show "Irish people are moving to both Canada and Australia in increasing numbers to escape the economic recession but are largely shunning traditional emigration routes to Britain and the US."

I thought this was interesting as a contrast to what we know historically about the Irish Abroad. One current theory is that indigenous oil-industry in Canada; and nearest-neighbour trade between Oz and China; are behind the relative buoyancy of employment opportunities in Oz and Canada.

Finally, I thought the Irish Times article was quite enterprising in how it collated the data that they comment on. The article mentions that the CSO "published figures in September showing 18,400 Irish nationals emigrated in the year to April 2009. But it is not possible to tell from the statistics where they went. The new figures, compiled by The Irish Times from the Australian, Canadian, British, US and New Zealand immigration authorities, shed some light on where Irish people are moving..."

Martin Ryan said...

A companion article by the same journalist (Jamie Smyth) considers whether time abroad could end up as permanent emigration:


"...if the Irish economy does not rebound in the next few years and create job opportunities for the next generation of graduates and school-leavers it seems very likely that a year spent working abroad will lead to longer term and more permanent emigration."

Another interesting point is that "the London Irish Centre, an Irish community organisation based in Camden, London, says it is repatriating up to five Irish people a week who arrive in the city hoping to get jobs but quickly run out of money and find themselves destitute."

Finally, McWilliams has also commented on the Ozzie Exodus recently: