WELL-BEING UNDER CONDITIONS OF ABUNDANCE: IRELAND FROM 1990-2007

Liam Delaney

Abstract


This paper examines the health and well-being of the Irish population in the late 20th century, the period popularly referred to as the Celtic Tiger. This period saw unprecedented increases in economic activity in Ireland. Using statistical data from administrative and survey sources, I examine whether this period of growth improved well-being and welfare in Ireland. The paper draws from theories of the development of societies such as those of Fogel and Easterlin, as well as theories from behavioural economics and econometric techniques to examine this question. In particular, I examine the extent to which Ireland fits into a pattern of declining correlation between GDP and well-being at later stages of development, a phenomenon known as the Easterlin Paradox. I also examine the extent to which individual well-being is predicted by income as compared to other aspects of welfare such as health and employment status.

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