The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 171–183

The welfare implications of disability for older people in Ireland

Original Paper

Abstract

Recent data analysed for Ireland suggest a strong link between disability status and household poverty, while there exists substantial evidence to suggest that disability is highly prevalent among persons of older age. Within this context, this paper estimates the welfare implications of disability for older people in Ireland. We define and estimate models of the private costs borne by households with older persons who have a disability in Ireland, both in general and by severity of illness or condition. Our modelling framework is based on the standard of living approach to estimating the cost of disability. The model quantifies the extra costs of living associated with disability and is estimated by comparing the standard of living of households with and without disabled members at a given income, controlling for other sources of variation. The analysis suggests that the estimated economic cost of disability for older people in Ireland is significant and varies by severity of disability, as well as by household type. The results also suggest that the cost of disability increases in proportionate terms as the number of people in the household decreases. Our results are important when considering the effectiveness of policies that aim to address the economic problems associated with disability for older people, suggesting that current policy in Ireland does not go far enough. They indicate that older people face a double jeopardy through age and disability, which is not reflected in official poverty rates and support the case for the introduction of disability-adjusted poverty payments.

Keywords

Disability Standard of living Older people Severity of disability Poverty Ireland 

JEL Classifications

J14 I31 

References

  1. 1.
    Central Statistics Office: Census 2006, volume 11–disability, carers and voluntary activities. CSO, Dublin (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zaidi, A., Burchardt, T.: Comparing incomes when needs differ: Equivalization for the extra costs of disability. Rev. Income Wealth 51, 89–114 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cullinan, J., Gannon, B., Lyons, S.: Estimating the economic cost of disability in Ireland. Economic and Social Research Institute Working Paper Series, Number 230. ESRI, Dublin (2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gannon, B., Nolan, B.: The impact of disability transitions on social inclusion. Soc. Science Med 64, 1425–1437 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gannon, B., Nolan, B.: The Dynamics of Disability and Social Inclusion in Ireland. The Equality Authority and NDA, Dublin (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Murphy, K., O’Shea, E., Cooney, A., Casey, D.: The Quality of Life of Older People with a Disability in Ireland. National Council on Ageing and Older People, Dublin (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gannon, B., Munley, M.: Age and disability: Explaining the wage differential. Soc. Science Med. (2009). doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.04.013
  8. 8.
    Cullinan, J., Gannon, B., Lyons, S.: Estimating the extra cost of living for people with disabilities. Health Econ. 20, 582–599 (2011)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Berthoud, R., Lakey, J., McKay, S.: The Economic Problems of Disabled People. Policy Studies Institute, London (1993)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    National Rehabilitation Board: Cost of Disability Study 1. National Rehabilitation Board Occasional Paper Series (1995)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nexus Research: Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Challenges for People in Ireland with MS and Service Providers. The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland, Ireland (1996)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Indecon: Cost of Disability Research Report. National Disability Authority, Dublin (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tibble, M.: Review of existing research on the extra costs of disability. Department for Work and Pensions Working Paper No. 21 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Saunders, P.: The costs of disability and the incidence of poverty. SPRC Discussion Paper No. 147. Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Martin, J., White, A.: The Financial Circumstances of Disabled Adults Living in Private Households. HMSO, London (1998)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Disablement Income Group. Not the OPCS Survey: Being Disabled Costs More Than They Said. DIG, London (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Matthews, A., Truscott, P.: Disability, household income and expenditure: A follow-up survey of disabled adults in the Family Expenditure Survey. Department of Social Security Research Report No. 2 (1998)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jones, A., O’Donnell, O.: Equivalence scales and the costs of disability. J. Public Econ. 56, 273–289 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Townsend, P.: Poverty in the United Kingdom. Penguin Books, UK (1979)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Perry, B.: The mismatch between income measures and direct outcome measures of poverty. Soc. Policy J. N. Z. 19, 1–34 (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Whelan, C., Nolan, B., Maître, B: Measuring consistent poverty in Ireland with EU SILC Data. Economic and Social Research Institute Working Paper Series Number 165 (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Whelan, C., Maître, B.: Levels and patterns of material deprivation in Ireland: After the ‘Celtic Tiger’. Eur. Sociological Rev. 23, 139–154 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ford, R.: Estimating Relative Needs Through a Comparison of Living Standards. Policy Studies Institute, London (1997)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nolan, B., Watson, D., Williams, J., Noonan Walsh, P., O’Connor, A., Browne, J.: Designing and Piloting an Irish Disability Research Instrument Based on WHO ICF. National Disability Authority, Dublin (2003)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gannon, B., Nolan, B.: Disability and labour force participation in Ireland. Econ. Soc. Rev. 35, 135–155 (2004)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gannon, B.: A dynamic analysis of disability and labour force participation in Ireland 1995–2000. Health Econ. 14, 925–938 (2005)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gannon, B.: The influence of economic incentives on reported disability status. Health Econ. 18, 743–759 (2009)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wooldridge, J.: Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data. MIT Press, Cambridge (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and Economics and Irish Centre for Social GerontologyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  2. 2.Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health SciencesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  3. 3.Irish Centre for Social GerontologyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations