Taxation, Welfare and Pensions

ESRI research on taxation, welfare and pensions examines the impact of actual policy changes on real households and explores “what if” questions about the effects of future policy changes of interest. The aim is to inform policy debate and policy choices using nationally representative data. Much of the work is based around SWITCH, the ESRI tax-benefit model (Simulating Welfare and Income Tax Changes), which uses detailed data on the incomes and other tax and welfare relevant characteristics of the CSO’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC). SWITCH simulates how households are affected by the rules of the current system, and by proposed reforms.

Recently, research has focused on the impact of the recession on household incomes and on financial incentives to work. In addition, the ESRI microsimulation model, SWITCH, was expanded to analyse issues relating to income-related entitlements to health services, such as medical and GP visit cards. The research programme was supported by prioritised funding from the grant in aid, and funding from the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Health.


Main Publications in Taxation, Welfare and Pensions Research Area


Other Misc. Outputs



Can We Measure Who Loses Most from Public Service Spending Cuts?
June 11, 2014 | Budget Perspectives

Authors: Cormac O'Dea
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Welfare Targeting and Work Incentives
June 11, 2014 | Budget Perspectives

Authors: Michael Savage, Tim Callan , Claire Keane , Elish Kelly , John R Walsh
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Crisis, Response and Distributional Impact: the Case of Ireland
May 12, 2014 | Journal Article

Authors: Tim Callan, Brian Nolan , Claire Keane , Michael Savage , John R Walsh
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Identifying Policy Impacts in the Crisis: Microsimulation Evidence on Tax and Welfare
April 7, 2014 | Journal Article

Authors: Claire Keane, Tim Callan , Michael Savage , John R Walsh , Kevin Timoney
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


The Great Recession, Austerity and Inequality: Evidence from Ireland
December 20, 2013 | Journal Article

Authors: Tim Callan, Brian Nolan , Claire Keane , Michael Savage , John R Walsh
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Service Pay Policies: Budget 2014 and Budgets 2009-2014
December 12, 2013 | QEC Special Article

Authors: Tim Callan, Claire Keane , Michael Savage , John R Walsh
Research Area: Macroeconomics | Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Social Transfers and Poverty Alleviation in Ireland, 2004-2011
December 11, 2013

Authors: Dorothy Watson, Bertrand Maître
Research Area: Social Inclusion and Equality | Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


The Great Recession, Austerity and Inequality: Evidence from Ireland
November 28, 2013 | Journal Article

Authors: Tim Callan, Brian Nolan , Claire Keane , Michael Savage , John R Walsh
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Implications of Income Pooling and Household Decision-making for the Measurement of Poverty and Deprivation: An Analysis of the SILC 2010 Special Module for Ireland
October 23, 2013 |

Authors: Dorothy Watson, Bertrand Maître , Sara Cantillon
Research Area: Social Inclusion and Equality | Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


Making and Breaking Tax Systems
September 27, 2013 | Geary Lecture Series

Authors: Timothy Besley
Research Area: Taxation, Welfare and Pensions


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