Drivers of Income Inequality in Ireland and Northern Ireland

The distribution of income differs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is marked by lower levels of income and higher poverty rates. Differences in demographics, working patterns, wage levels and tax-benefit systems all contribute to these differences and could complicate increased co-operation on the island of Ireland. Using harmonised microsimulation models for Ireland (SWITCH) and Northern Ireland (UKMOD), we propose to identify the drivers of the differences in income distribution between Ireland and Northern Ireland. We will also simulate the implementation of the Irish tax-benefit system in Northern Ireland and vice versa. This research is part of a joint research programme with the Department of the Taoiseach titled The Economic and Social Opportunities from Increased Cooperation on the Shared Island