Semester 2 Examinations 2011 / 2012
2nd Arts (Environment and Society)
2nd Arts (Youth and Family Studies)
St. Angela’s College, Sligo
Economics of Public and Social Policy
Professor Liam Delaney
Professor John McHale
*Mr. Stephen McNena
There are two sections in this exam.
Please answer all 10 short questions in section A.
Please answer any 3 longer questions in section B.
No. of Pages
3 pages including this cover sheet
Gerry Fitzpatrick, St. Angela’s College, Sligo
Release to Library: Yes No
Statistical/ Log Tables
Log Graph Paper
Section A (30 marks)
Instructions: please answer all 10 questions from Section A.
This section accounts for a quarter of the exam; therefore you should spend
about 3 minutes on each question.
1. Briefly describe the libertarian view of social justice.
2. Briefly describe the socialist view of social justice.
3. In terms of Esping-Andersen’s typologies of welfare states, what is meant by
4. What is meant by economic or market efficiency?
5. List three of the “standard assumptions” that must hold if general
equilibrium is to be achieved.
6. Distinguish between social insurance and social assistance.
7. (a) Describe child-related social welfare income supports in Ireland.
(b) List two possible reforms of child income supports.
8. Distinguish between funded pension schemes and Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG)
9. List some of the general challenges facing many welfare states.
10. Describe a specific challenge facing the Irish welfare state, according to the
National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
Section B (90 marks)
Instructions: please answer any 3 questions from Section B.
You should spend about 30 minutes on each question.
1. (a) Outline the principle features of each of the three welfare regimes, as
suggested by Esping-Andersen. Also describe the Southern or
(b) In this context, explain why some analysts suggest that Ireland has a
hybrid welfare state.
2. (a) Sometimes the allocation of goods and services determined by the market
is an in-efficient outcome. Briefly describe some of the possible causes
of economic inefficiency.
(b) Describe three ways that governments can intervene to deal with sub-
optimal market outcomes and so improve efficiency and/or equity.
(c) Give a real-world example of each method of intervention.
3. (a) Discuss the justifications for State intervention in pension provision.
(b) Discuss how the State intervenes in the pension system.
(c) Explain why PAYG pension schemes may be unsustainable in the future.
(d) List or outline some possible reforms to cope with this issue.
4. (a) Discuss the trends in healthcare expenditure over the last few decades.
(b) Briefly describe four approaches to financing healthcare expenditure.
(c) Choose one of these approaches and describe its advantages and
(d) Describe the financing of healthcare expenditure in Ireland.
5. (a) Discuss the trends in income inequality in Ireland during the last 20 years.
(b) Describe the two main approaches used to measure poverty in Ireland.
(c) Discuss the extent of poverty in Ireland, as revealed by these measures.