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Regan, Mark
Maître, Bertrand
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Budget Perspectives No. 2021/4
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin
The Irish experience of the Great Recession was characterised by a large increase in unemployment, little change in relative poverty measures but a large increase in basic deprivation, which affected children worst. We show that, from 2004 to 2018, parental employment and high household work intensity decreased the risk of a child living in poverty. In the face of widespread COVID-19 employment losses, we simulate how child income poverty rates will evolve over the course of 2020. Without an economic recovery, child income poverty rates could rise as high as 23 per cent, a one-third increase in the rate relative to the start of 2020. A partial economic recovery decreases the surge in child income poverty, which rises to a maximum of 19 per cent, a one-seventh increase in the rate relative to the start of 2020. We conclude that a partial economic recovery in the latter half of the year, coupled with an extension of emergency income supports for the entirety of 2020, would bring child income poverty levels only moderately above the level they would have been at in a counterfactual where COVID-19-related job losses did not occur (an average increase of between one-eleventh to a maximum of oneseventh).
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Research Report

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