Christopher T. Whelan

Christopher T. Whelan
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Sociology and Geary Institute for Public Policy

Ph.D. University of London

About

226
Publications
28,636
Reads
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5,970
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Professor
March 2012 - present
University College Dublin
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
April 2009 - February 2012
University College Dublin
Position
  • Head of School of Sociology

Publications

Publications (226)
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates changes over the period 2005 to 2014 in material deprivation dynamics of social risk groups in 11 European countries covering a range of welfare regimes. The period covered experienced dramatic economic change, encompassing periods of boom, the Great Recession and early recovery. Social risk groups are defined as groups whic...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we draw on Irish SILC data to examine the roles of social class, non-class risk groups and state policies in influencing enforced material deprivation as Ireland moved from a period of economic boom through deep recession and on to early recovery. We also employ Sen’s capability approach to explore the extent to which certain social...
Article
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 classe...
Book
Full-text available
This paper draws on the EU-SILC dataset to investigate changes over the period 2004 to 2014 in the trends and dynamics in poverty for social risk groups in selected European countries representing different welfare regimes (Social democratic, Corporatist, Liberal and Southern). Social risk groups differ in the challenges they face to their capacity...
Chapter
In this chapter, we outline the way in which non-monetary deprivation indicators have come to play an important role in capturing poverty and social exclusion across the European Union (EU) and progress in addressing it. The development of poverty and social exclusion monitoring in the EU must be seen in the light of the evolution of the broader EU...
Article
Michelle Norris (2016), Property, Family and the Irish Welfare State, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, £68.00, pp. 279, hbk. - CHRISTOPHER T. WHELAN
Book
Full-text available
In this report, we use Irish SILC data from 2004-2015 to examine poverty and deprivation transitions among various social risk groups – groups experiencing an increased risk of poverty due to non-class personal or family factors. Social risk groups include: lone parents, people with a disability, young adults, children, working-age adults and older...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses variation in the impact of the Great Recession on economic stress across income classes for a range of advanced European countries. Our analysis shows Iceland, Ireland and Greece to be quite distinctive in terms of increases in their multidimensional income, material deprivation and economic stress profiles. Between 2008 and 201...
Article
Full-text available
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 rais...
Article
This paper seeks to distil the lessons on poverty measurement from a period that extends back to the early days of poverty research at the ESRI in the mid to late 1980s. What was the problem to which non-monetary indicators was the solution? How were the indicators chosen and justified? What have we learned about the role and limitations of non-mon...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we draw on the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) data to examine the impact of pre-recession socio-economic characteristics on the economic stress levels of households with children. Our results provide some support for the polarisation argument, with the largest increases in absolute percentage point terms occurring towards the bottom of t...
Article
In this paper we seek to bridge the gap between recent analysis relating to the distributional consequences of the Great Recession across the income distribution and more specific concerns relating to inter-generational outcomes. In Ireland in 2008 there was a clear age gradient in relation to economic stress. Over time the gradient became sharper...
Article
Goldthorpe's theoretical orientation involves a rejection of liberal and Marxist forms of historicism. It focuses on social patterns that can be established on a probabilistic basis and the manner in which they are created, sustained, and modified through the action and interaction of individuals. His macro- and microsociological concerns are combi...
Article
In this paper we make use of the first and second waves of the 2008 and 1998 cohorts of the Growing Up in Ireland study, to develop a multidimensional and dynamic approach to understanding the impact on families and children in Ireland of the Great Recession. Economic vulnerability is operationalised as involving a distinctive risk profile in relat...
Article
Full-text available
Following an unprecedented boom, since 2008 Ireland has experienced a severe economic and labour market crisis. Considerable debate persists as to where the heaviest burden of the recession has fallen. Conventional measures of relative income poverty and inequality have a limited capacity to capture the impact of the recession in terms of social ex...
Article
Ireland represents a particularly interesting case study of the distributional impact of pronounced macroeconomic fluctuations. In this article, we use the Irish case to show that in contrast to periods of relative equilibrium, an understanding of the distributional consequences of economic turbulence requires going beyond conventional measures of...
Article
The empirical association between income inequality, population health, and other social problems is now well established, and the research literature suggests that the relationship is not artefactual. Debate is still ongoing as to the cause of this association. Wilkinson, Marmot, and colleagues have argued for some time that the relationship stems...
Article
The empirical association between income inequality, population health, and other social problems is now well established, and the research literature suggests that the relationship is not artefactual. Debate is still ongoing as to the cause of this association. Wilkinson, Marmot, and colleagues have argued for some time that the relationship stems...
Article
Full-text available
La réduction de la pauvreté et de l'exclusion sociale est un des objectifs de la stratégie 2020 de l'Union européenne. Le bien fondé et le succès d'une telle politique nécessitent le choix d'indicateurs pertinents permettant non seulement de saisir les écarts de pau‑ vreté entre pays mais également d'identifier, pour chaque pays, les groupes d'indi...
Article
Full-text available
La réduction de la pauvreté et de l'exclusion sociale est un des objectifs de la stratégie 2020 de l'Union européenne. Le bien fondé et le succès d'une telle politique nécessitent le choix d'indicateurs pertinents permettant non seulement de saisir les écarts de pauvreté entre pays mais également d'identifier, pour chaque pays, les groupes d'indivi...
Article
Full-text available
La réduction de la pauvreté et de l'exclusion sociale est un des objectifs de la stratégie 2020 de l'Union européenne. Le bien fondé et le succès d'une telle politique nécessitent le choix d'indicateurs pertinents permettant non seulement de saisir les écarts de pau‑ vreté entre pays mais également d'identifier, pour chaque pays, les groupes d'indi...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we take advantage of the recent availability of data from the special module on material deprivation in the 2009 European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between material deprivation and economic stress, the mediating role played by cross-nati...
Article
In this paper we make use of the 9-year-old wave of the Growing Up in Ireland study to analyse multidimensional deprivation in Ireland. The Alkire and Foster adjusted headcount ratio approach (AHR; Alkire and Foster, Journal of Public Economics, 95, 476–487, 2011a, Journal of Economic Inequality, 9, 289–314, 2011b) applied here constitutes a signif...
Article
Full-text available
Over the course of the past 20 years, welfare states are said to have evolved towards a ‘social investment’ model of welfare – characterized by a focus on equality of opportunity and upward social mobility along with a greater emphasis on individual responsibility. In view of these policy changes, it is necessary to assess whether traditional strat...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2005 wave includes a special module on inter-generational transmission of poverty. In addition to the standard data relating to income and material deprivation, information relating to parental background and childhood circumstances was collected for all household members aged...
Article
Full-text available
Over the course of the past 20 years, welfare states are said to have evolved towards a ‘social investment’ model of welfare – characterized by a focus on equality of opportunity and upward social mobility along with a greater emphasis on individual responsibility. In view of these policy changes, it is necessary to assess whether traditional strat...
Article
In this article, using Ireland where debt issues are of particular salience, as a test case, we seek to locate over-indebtedness and the severity of debt problems in the context of the broader economic circumstances of households. In doing so, we first identify an economically vulnerable segment of households and then explore the debt experience of...
Article
In this paper, taking advantage of the inclusion of a special module on material deprivation in EU-SILC 2009, we provide a comparative analysis of patterns of deprivation. Our analysis identifies six relatively distinct dimensions of deprivation with generally satisfactory overall levels of reliability and mean levels of reliability across countrie...
Article
Research and monitoring of poverty in rich countries relies primarily on household income to capture living standards and distinguish the poor. Significant efforts have been made to broaden the measure of financial resources and capture the dynamics of income over time. At the same time, there is increasing interest in using nonmonetary information...
Article
Full-text available
In light of widespread agreement that poverty and social exclusion should be understood as multidimensional phenomenon, in this paper we explore the practical implications of such an understanding in relation to widely employed indicators of such phenomena in Ireland. One persistent critique of the current national measures of poverty and social ex...
Article
We explore the potential of data from EU‐SILC (‘Statistics on Income and Living Conditions’) for the enlarged European Union for the study of low pay and its relationship to household poverty and vulnerability. Limitations of the earnings data currently available mean the analysis covers only 14 of these countries. For employees who are not low pai...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, taking advantage of the inclusion of a special module on material deprivation in EU-SILC 2009, we provide a comparative analysis of patterns of deprivation. Our analysis identifies six relatively distinct dimensions of deprivation with generally satisfactory overall levels of reliability and mean levels of reliability across counties...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we take advantage of the recent availability of data from the special module on material deprivation in the 2009 European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between material deprivation and economic stress. In particular, we focus on the moderati...
Article
Full-text available
As awareness of the limitations of relying solely on income to measure poverty and social exclusion has become more widespread, attention has been increasingly focused on multi-dimensional approaches. To date efforts to measure multidimensional poverty and social exclusion in rich countries have been predominantly ad hoc and have relied on data tha...
Book
Research on poverty in rich countries relies primarily on household income to capture living standards and distinguish those in poverty, and this is also true of official poverty measurement and monitoring. However, awareness of the limitations of income has been heightening interest in the role that non-monetary measures of deprivation can play. T...
Book
Poverty alleviation is a central aim of economic and social policy, and yet there is no consensus about what poverty means or how it is best measured. Often, the households below an income poverty line are counted as poor, but there may be no firm basis for concentrating on that particular income level. There may also be wide variations among the h...
Chapter
Full-text available
The primary goal of inter-generational mobility (IGM) research has always been to explain how and why social origins influence peoples’ life chances. This has naturally placed family attributes at centre stage. But the role of social institutions, most notably education systems, as a mediating factor has also been central to IGM theory. Indeed, gen...
Article
Full-text available
As part of its 2020 Strategy adopted in 2010, the EU has set a number of headline targets including one for poverty reduction over the next decade. This is a major development in the role accorded to social inclusion in the EU, and thus very important at the level of principle. However, the specific way the target itself has been framed, and the im...
Article
Full-text available
A frequent refrain during recent debates on welfare cuts and tax increases has related to the need to “protect the vulnerable”. However, it is far from clear that a consensus exists on which individuals or groups are to be included under this heading with a consequent lack of clarity for the policy implications of pursuing this goal. In this paper,...
Article
In this paper we seek to contribute to recent efforts to develop and implement multi-dimensional approaches to social exclusion by applying self-organising maps (SOMs) to a set of material deprivation indicators from the Irish component of EU-SILC. The first stage of our analysis involves the identification of sixteen clusters that confirm the mult...
Article
The development of conceptual frameworks for the analysis of social exclusion has somewhat out-stripped related methodological developments. This paper seeks to contribute to filling this gap through the application of self-organising maps (SOMs) to the analysis of a detailed set of material deprivation indicators relating to the Irish case. The SO...
Article
Non-monetary indicators of deprivation are now widely used in studying poverty in Europe. While measuring financial resources remains central, having reliable information about material deprivation adds to the ability to capture poverty and social exclusion. Non-monetary indicators can help improve the identification of those experiencing poverty a...
Article
Full-text available
A frequent refrain during recent debates on welfare cuts has related to the need to “protect the vulnerable”. However, it is far from clear that a consensus exists on which individuals or groups are to be included under this heading with consequent lack of clarity for the policy implications of pursuing this goal. In this paper, operating with a co...
Article
Full-text available
During the nineties, Europe became a major recipient of FDIs but Italian regions have been largely excluded from this process. Was it due to their characteristics, or were Italian regions “doomed” by a negative country effect? In this paper we address this issue by estimating the determinants of multinational firms’ location choices in 52 EU region...
Article
Full-text available
Child poverty is firmly on the policy agenda in many OECD countries. One of the main issues in the debate is the appropriate balance between the so-called “benefits strategy” (increasing the adequacy of benefits for low-income families with children) and the so-called “work strategy” (promoting policies to increase employment among poor families)....
Article
In this article, we explore the extent to which a consideration of welfare regime and socioeconomic differences in poverty levels and patterns can assist us in making an informed assessment of alternative poverty indicators. Poverty in the EU is normally defined in terms of income thresholds at the level of each member state. However, with the enla...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of smoking have decreased dramatically in most Northern European countries over the last 50 years or so, but manual working class groups are substantially more likely to smoke daily than are the professional and managerial classes. This article examines three hypotheses about the processes producing these inequalities. The first argues that s...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we address the question of the relative importance of within and between country differences in income and material deprivation in the European Union in the context of recent suggestions that insufficient attention has been paid to the latter. In particular, we respond to the argument that the 'state bounded' relative income approach...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between parental background and children's educational outcomes has been a dominant theme within the sociology of education. There has been an on-going debate as to the relative merits of explanations which focus on the role of socio-cultural reproduction and those which focus on rational choice. However, many empirical studies wit...
Article
A joint concern with multidimensionality and dynamics is a defining feature of the pervasive use of the terminology of social exclusion in the European Union. The notion of social exclusion focuses attention on economic vulnerability in the sense of exposure to risk and uncertainty. Sociological concern with these issues has been associated with th...
Article
Full-text available
During the nineties, Europe became a major recipient of FDIs but Italian regions have been largely excluded from this process. Was it due to their characteristics, or were Italian regions “doomed” by a negative country effect? In this paper we address this issue by estimating the determinants of multinational firms’ location choices in 52 EU region...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we seek to put Irish poverty rates in a comparative European context. We do so in a context whereby the Irish economic boom and EU enlargement have led to increasing reservations being expressed regarding rates deriving from the EU 'at risk of poverty' indicator. Our comparative analysis reports findings for both overall levels of pov...
Article
Full-text available
This paper uses new data from EU-SILC for twenty-six European countries to examine the structure and distribution of material deprivation in the enlarged EU. We identify three distinct dimensions of material deprivation relating to consumption, household facilities and neighbourhood environment, and construct indices of these dimensions for each co...