The Economic and Social Research Institute has said there is no evidence to support claims that the less well-off were left behind during the Celtic Tiger years.
In a report published today, the think tank said one third of the population was ranked as economically vulnerable in 1994.
However, by 2001, this figure had fallen to one ninth of the population.
The ESRI also said that, while the risk of income poverty had increased for this group, levels of deprivation and economic strain had declined substantially.
Overall it said it could find very little evidence to support claims of increasing disparities between the economically vulnerable and the rest of the population.
Authors Christopher T. Whelan, Brian Nolan and Bertrand Maitre said there had in fact been "a sharp decline in economic vulnerability".
They added: "The degree of differentiation between the vulnerable and non-vulnerable classes in relation to both economic exclusion and social exclusion…remained relatively constant…
"The dramatic reductions in levels of vulnerability across the socio-economic spectrum demonstrate that the fruits of the economic boom have been distributed relatively widely."
The authors add however that Ireland still has some catching up to do with our counterparts in the rest of Europe.
"Ireland is characterised by levels of socioeconomic inequality that place it at the more unequal end of the European spectrum," the report says.