The Impact of Discriminatory Legislation on Irish Female Unemployment
JEL Classification J16 and J71
Michael J. Harrison
Eric A. Strobl
Patrick P. Walsh
Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and European Bureau of
AbstractIreland provides us with a unique case-study of the effects of
discrimination in the labour market. Since the ninteen-sixties and until the
late nineteen-eighties, gradual reforms of explicit discrimination against
females with regard to entitlement to and duration of unemployment assistance
and benefit have been introduced. The primary aim of this paper is to asses the
impact that these reforms have had on the level of female turnover activity in
the Live Register. The results show that the reforms may be modelled as well
defined discrete shifts in the inflows and it is noteworthy that the more
significant of the estimated effects of reforms are those corresponding to those
which gave the large numbers of females that were in non-activity the option of
entering the Live Register without any prior need of employment contributions.
The results also provide evidence of a secondary effect of reforms on the level
of female outflows, and appear to support the hypothesis that the reforms have
encouraged females to remain on the Live Register for longer periods of time.
AcknowledgementsThis research was funded by the Arts and Social
Sciences Benefaction Fund in Trinity College Dublin. We are grateful for this
support. Special thanks are due to Hartmut Lehmann for making his British flow
data available to us.