The distribution of personal wealth in the Republic of Ireland has not been estimated since the 1970s. While the publication of those estimates did lead to governmental attempts to redistribute wealth, the attempts were stifled by the opposition of powerful interest groups. Highlights the dearth of information on the distribution of wealth in Ireland since then and draws attention to the underlying social, political and economic reasons. Postulates that the reasons for this paucity of information are: the perceived irrelevance of the wealth distribution as an indicator of welfare; the problems normally associated with the available estimation techniques; consequent search costs; and inevitably strong opposition to the governmental attempts to redistribute should evidence of high inequality be produced. In the tradition of Tawney and Titmuss, argues that it is in the interest of a healthy society that the facts regarding such an issue be known.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1996
Keywords: Republic of Ireland; Wealth; Welfare