Journal Article

Economic stress and the Great Recession in Ireland: The erosion of social class advantage

September 24, 2018

Economic and Social Review, Vol 49, No. 3, Autumn 2018, pp. 259-286


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In this paper we address the issue of whether the Great Recession in Ireland led to increased social class polarisation in the experience of economic stress. Rather than observing polarisation, we find evidence for ‘middle class squeeze’ involving the self-employed and a significant erosion of the advantages associated with the higher social classes. These outcomes derived primarily from a weakening of the degree of association between social class and income class and a reduction of the buffering effect of social class within the lower income classes. By 2012 social class had no impact on economic stress net of income class.