Fahey, Tony, Russell, Helen, Whelan, Christopher T. (Eds.)
Originally published with the title: Best of Times? The Social Impact of the Celtic Tiger by Institute of Public Adminstration (IPA), Dublin, Ireland, 2007
2007, XIII, 316 p.
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Presents and assesses the latest findings on the social impact of economic changes in Ireland since the early 1990's
Shows that the Celtic Tiger has brought important social gains and economic growth
Ireland: now living in "Best of Times", or has increased prosperity come at (too high) a cost?
The Irish economic boom has caused the economy in Ireland to roar ahead, but what has it done to Irish society? Some see the rising tide as having lifted all boats, while others argue that the benefits have accrued mostly to those who were already well placed. Some highlight how economic growth has raised living standards, while others say that it has imposed strains on family life, eroded values and communities, and created problems in accessing adequate housing, health care and other services.
So, are we in Ireland now living in ‘the best of times’, or has increased prosperity come at (too high) a cost? And can the rest of the world draw any lessons from what has happened in Ireland? The purpose of this book, which contains a collection of chapters written by some of Ireland’s leading social researchers, is to bring to bear the latest research and empirical evidence to answer these questions. It is aimed at a general audience and seeks to contribute to public debate in Ireland and abroad, while at the same time striving for rigorous, evidence-based argument.
The overall judgment offered by the book is positive, though with qualifications. Ireland still has problems: social inequalities are slow to narrow; the indignities of poverty and hopelessness, though less widespread than before, are still too common; some public services are poor; and traffic congestion frays the nerves. But there is a long list of social fundamentals that are stronger today than before the economic boom arrived.
National moral is among the highest in Europe, most people’s economic circumstances have greatly improved, jobs are astonishingly abundant, people are now flocking into the country rather than out of it, and they are marrying and having children at a higher rate than fifteen years ago.
These are only some of the positives identified in the book. Together they suggest that even on social grounds the Irish economic boom deserves at least two cheers, even if it has far from succeeded in solving all social ills.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »Celtic - Economic Boom - Ireland - economy - gender - income inequality - migration - quality of life - social indicators
Chapter 1. Quality of Life after the Boom, Tony Fahey, Helen Russell & Christopher T. Whelan. - Chapter 2. How do we Feel? Economic Boom and Happiness, Tony Fahey. - Chapter 3. Economic Growth and Income Inequality: Setting the Context, Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître. - Chapter 4. Employment and the Quality of Work, Philip J. O'Connell & Helen Russell. - Chapter 5. Opportunities for All in the New Ireland? Christopher T. Whelan & Richard Layte. - Chapter 6. Consistent Poverty and Economic Vulnerability, Christopher T. Whelan, Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maître. - Chapter 7. Health and Health Care, Richard Layte, Anne Nolan & Brian Nolan. - Chapter 8. The Housing Boom, Tony Fahey & David Duffy. - Chapter 9. Changing Times, Changing Schools? Quality of Life for Students, Emer Smyth, Selina McCoy, Merike Darmody & Allison Dunne. - Chapter 10. Family and Sexuality, Toney Fahey & Richard Layte. - Chapter 11. Ties that Bind? The Social Fabric of Daily Life in New Surburbs, Mary P. Corcoran, Jane Gray & Michel Peillon. - Chapter 12. Gender, Work-Life Balance and Quality of Life, Frances McGinnity, Helen Russell & Emer Smyth. - Chapter 13. The Impact of Immigration, Gerard Hughes, Frances McGinnity, Philip O'Connell & Emma Quinn. - Chapter 14. Crime and its Consequences, Ian O'Donnell. - Chapter 15: Soaring in the Best of Times?, Robert Erikson. - References. - Index.