ESRI report 'The potential costs and distributional effect of COVID-19 related unemployment in Ireland' awarded Miriam Hederman O'Brien prize

An ESRI research report titled 'The potential costs and distributional effect of COVID-19 related unemployment in Ireland' by Keelan Beirne, Karina Doorley, Mark Regan, Barra Roantree and Dora Tuda has won the Miriam Hederman O'Brien prize. It was awarded by the Foundation for Fiscal Studies.

The report - published in April 2020- found that measures announced by the Government in the wake of COVID-19 would significantly cushion incomes from COVID-19 related job losses.

The research explored the impact of a large number of job losses on families' incomes, with and without the additional measures announced by the Government. It found that the flat-rate Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) of €350 per week did most to support incomes, reducing the number who lost more than 20% of their disposable income by around a third (from 400,000 to 281,000 in a ‘medium’ unemployment scenario of 600,000 job losses). 

The aim of the prize is to recognise outstanding original work from new contributors in the area of Irish fiscal policy, to promote the study and discussion of matters relating to fiscal, economic and social policy and to reward those who demonstrate exceptional research promise. 


Another ESRI report ‘How does Irish Healthcare Expenditure compare internationally?' by Maev-Ann Wren and Aoife Fitzpatrick was shortlisted.

The report examines how Irish Healthcare Expenditure (HCE) compares to expenditure in other countries. Using international OECD data for 2017, this study finds that how Irish HCE compares differs depending on the expenditure measure used, the service examined and whether the comparison is adjusted for countries’ differing approaches to accounting for Social Care Expenditure.