Poverty, economic stress and quality of life: lessons from the Irish case

July 4, 2017 | Journal Article

Authors: Dorothy Watson , Bertrand Maître , Christopher T Whelan , Helen Russell
International Review of Economics , Vol. 64, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.125–143

The issue of multidimensionality is well established in poverty research, and it is generally recognised that income alone is inadequate as a measure of social inclusion or quality of life (QoL). However, social policy still tends to address the different dimensions of QoL—such as poverty, health, housing and social cohesion—in isolation. This raises the question of the variation across dimensions or groups in the extent of multidimensionality. For instance, are housing or health problems experienced by people with a range of other QoL problems, or do they tend to occur in isolation? Does this differ between social risk groups, such as lone parents, older adults or children? The answers have implications for the service needs of people with health problems or with inadequate housing. We address these issues in this paper, analysing the 2013 quality of life module on the EU-SILC data for Ireland and adapting the adjusted headcount ratio methodology of Alkire and Foster to address the issue of multidimensionality.

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