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Welcome to the ESRI website. I hope you will find it easy to navigate and that it will provide you with access to the current research of the Institute. Please send any comments on the website to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the Institute is and does
The ESRI is an independent research institute founded in 1960. Over the past fifty years it has established its position as an important source of independent academic research on economic and social change, which informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.
We cover a wide range of research areas and these are outlined in our current research strategy. Annually we report on our work in the form of the Institute Annual Review of Research which can be downloaded here. Our latest Review covers 2012. Meanwhile current information on our Research Programme Areas can be accessed directly on the website.
We are currently developing a new research strategy for the period 2014-2018. This strategy will be based on a review of existing activities, including our evolving relationship with the higher education sector and in particular our strategic alliance with Trinity College Dublin in the social sciences, and developments and reforms within the Irish public sector.
So far this year, the Institute has held the following conferences:
and Seminars and Workshops:
Many more events are planned – please visit our forthcoming events webpage.
Current ESRI Research
ESRI research seeks to inform our understanding of key issues facing Irish society. At present there is a strong focus on research relevant to economic recovery and the impact of austerity.
Our research continues to inform the preparation of short-term forecasts for the economy as published in the Quarterly Economic Commentary. The ESRI is currently preparing new medium terms forecasts for the economy which are expected to be released in June in the form of a Medium Term Review. The recent QEC, in addition to reviewing the current macro position, also included a paper on debt sustainability and a note on the Ireland’s export patterns. The ESRI continues to undertake and publish research on the macroeconomic behaviour of the Irish economy. We have recently begun a programme of research with the Central Bank of Ireland which will develop the next generation of macro models for Ireland. We are beginning new programmes of research on patterns of recovery in the housing market, how to fund SMEs as economic recovery takes hold, and the impact of credit constraints on household behaviour (view details of research in this area).
The Institute has recently begun two further research programmes. The first is the Programme of Research Investigating Consumer Evaluations (PRICE) Lab which is a three year research programme co-funded by the National Consumer Agency, Commission for Energy Regulation, ComReg, and the Central Bank of Ireland. The programme is developing computerised experiments to explore the limits of consumers’ abilities to value complex products and to choose between them. The aim of the programme is to provide evidence for policymakers that may help them to devise policies to support consumers in their efforts to make better decisions in key markets.
The second new programme, which is funded by the Department of Social Protection, will focus on analysing aspects of social inclusion using the Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC) data. Research in 2013 will explore the role of social transfers in alleviating poverty in Ireland and the capacity of indicators of financial stress to capture the impact of the recession on households.
Two new projects on disability will combine data from the National Disability Survey (NDS) and 2006 Census data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to explore the factors which enable people with an emotional, psychological or mental health disability to participate in economic and social life and the experiences of children with a disability in the education system.
The Institute’s tax-benefit (SWITCH) model continues to be used widely to analyse the distribution effects of different fiscal proposals (Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Sector Pay Policies: 2009-2012 ). Training on the use of this model has also been provided to staff members in the Departments of Finance and Social Protection, to assist them in exploring distributional issues associated with tax and welfare changes. These analyses will be used by the Departments in the preparation of Budget 2014.
The ESRI’s health programme covers both population health and health services research. Current research in the area of health includes a study which examines evidence on the cost and cost effectiveness of alternative models (comprehensive, intermediate, limited) of palliative care in the Irish health-care system. A new project in this area is an economic analysis of stroke rehabilitation. It aims to examine rehabilitation services for stroke patients in the Irish health-care system, identifying patterns of use and assessing the implications (economic, health outcomes) of existing and new models of care. The project is led by researchers from the ESRI and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is funded by the Irish Heart Foundation. Further research is currently underway in relation to the pharmaceuticals market, building on an earlier published report, Delivery of Pharmaceuticals in Ireland – Getting a Bigger Bang for the Buck.
The Growing Up in Ireland research project continues, with preliminary findings of the survey of the 13-year old cohort being prepared for publication. This year will see surveying of the 5-year old cohort, and a series of research conferences based on the data already analysed from the four existing cohorts.
Research on education provides evidence to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of different elements of government spending on education and training. Current projects include a large-scale multi-method longitudinal study of special classes in Irish primary and post-primary schools. The Institute has identified a range of issues where it believes research could very usefully inform policy and decisions making. One such issue is how further education, higher education and other forms of post-school education and training interact at the individual and institutional level. This is particularly important in the context of reform plans for the Higher Education system and the ongoing re-organisation of provision in Further Education and Training under SOLAS and the Education Training Boards.
The Institute's research bulletin series provides short summaries of work published by ESRI staff and overviews of thematic areas covered by ESRI programmes of research.
As we continue to address our major economic and fiscal challenges, the need for the ESRI’s research has never been greater. In focusing on policy-relevant research issues, the ESRI is continuing a tradition that now stretches back over 50 years. I am confident that the research activities of our research teams will continue to inform public and policy debates on how we may return to a path of sustained economic recovery and social progress.
Read more about The Institute.