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ESRI Dublin

General information

The Economic and Social Research Institute is Ireland’s leading centre for applied research in the social sciences. The ESRI is an independent, not-for-Prof.it organisation, founded in 1960, with the mission of bringing the latest thinking in economics and the social sciences to the actual and potential problems of Irish society. Organisational goals of the ESRI are academic excellence, objectivity, relevance to policy, and widespread dissemination of results. The ESRI is funded by commissioned research projects, a grant-in-aid from the Irish government, membership subscriptions, sponsorship from the corporate sector and sales of publications.

Research programme

The Institute’s research programme currently covers demography, econometrics, education, health, housing, tax and welfare, industrial development, labour market, macroeconomics, public finance and pensions, social disadvantage, regional studies, resource economics, social capital and survey research. The ESRI carries out research in the following Research Centres and Programmes; Educational Policy Research Centre, Environment Policy Research Centre, FÁS/ESRI Employment Forecasting Programme, Health Inequalities and Health and Social Gain Programme, Living Conditions and Quality of Life Programme Poverty and Social Exclusion Programme and others. The Centres and Programmes aim to bring together a range of complementary expertise to carry out research which, as well as meeting the immediate identified needs of clients, will contribute to the longer term understanding of the area under study. The Economic and Social Research Institute is Ireland’s leading centre for applied research in the social sciences.

International networks and collaboration

The ESRI team has been engaged since 1994 in an extensive programme of research based on the European Household Panel survey. The ESRI carried out the Irish element of the ECHP, and has acquired the most in-depth expertise in exploiting the ECHP to the full, with an awareness of the range and nature of the data and its strengths and weaknesses. The ESRI has been a member of major research programmes under the Fifth Framework including the EPUSE and DYNSOC programmes and is a member of the European Panel Analysis Group (EPAG). It is also currently coordinator of the CHANGEQUAL network under the Fifth Framework Programme. The topics investigated in its broad research programme to date include the distribution of income, poverty and low income, income mobility, indicators of living conditions and deprivation and their relationship with income and persistent low income, social mobility, labour market dynamics, unemployment and health inequalities. This research has resulted in publications in a range of international journals and thus constitutes one of the most successful research programmes based on this data.

As well as this programme based on the ECHP, the team has a great deal of experience using other European data sources. Russell has extensive experience in the analysis of the results from the Eurobarometer survey and the European Labour Force Surveys. Fahey is currently engaged in analysis of the 1999 European Values and Attitudes Survey, and has been involved in development of time use data at national and European level. Layte has worked with collaborative networks carrying out comparative analysis of both mortality and morbidity by socio-economic status and unemployment dynamics. Both projects constructed harmonised data from national sources. Nolan and Russell are currently involved in a comparative project using the European Structure of Earnings Survey. Nolan is also joint author (with A. B. Atkinson, Bea Cantillon and Eric Marlier) of a recent Oxford University Press volume on social inclusion indicators for the European Union. The ESRI were also the lead team on a project sponsored by the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions on Monitoring Conditions and Quality of Life in Europe and are currently a leading member of a European team conducting and an analysis of Eurobarometer data on quality of life in the candidate countries on behalf of the Foundation. In addition, they were also part of a team which advised on the development of the questionnaire on Quality of Life in Europe that is currently being conducted on the Foundation’s behalf and be a key member of the group commissioned to analyse this data.