IEA 2024 Conference Programme

The 37th Annual Irish Economic Association Conference will take place at the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway from Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th May 2024. The keynote speakers are Prof. Costas Meghir, Douglas A. Warner III Professor of Economics at Yale University, and Prof. Lucrezia Reichlin, Professor of Economics at London Business School.

The programme for this year’s conference is now available to view at Please note that the early pricing window ends on April 19 and all participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible to help with planning and organisation. To do so, please visit the conference website

European Economic Convergence: Ireland and Poland

UCD Smurfit School, Blackrock (Theatre N204). Monday, April 8, 4-5.30pm. All welcome

Education, higher and otherwise

There have been recent controversies and scandals in higher education in the United States. Many contributors and readers of this blog have (Irish) university connections.

Is there a discussion needed about the relevance, or not, to Ireland of these issues, which concern the question of free speech, variously interpreted? Probably so, since free speech does not defend itself, our history is hardly one of free speech, and our new (so-called) hate speech law is an undeniable, and indeed intentional, diminution of free speech. In Ireland, as elsewhere, diversity and inclusion policies do not seem to extend to viewpoint diversity.  

There is intense discussion currently in the US on these matters. Steven Pinker has trenchantly set out five principles in the Boston Globe; free speech, institutional neutrality, nonviolence, viewpoint diversity, and DEI disempowerment. Harvard Medical School’s Jeffrey Flier has summarised them as follows:

1.  Develop a clearly stated new policy on academic freedom, applied to all schools, addressing some of the ways HU failed to live up to these principles in recent years, using real cases to illustrate.

2. Adopt a new policy on institutional neutrality as relates to political and social issues, apart from those directly related to the function of the university.

3. Better define policies to rule out use of violence and intimidation within classrooms and public spaces, and establish meaningful consequences for their violation, with due process coupled with enhanced efficiency.

4. Conduct a serious, data-driven review of DEI policies and administration to clarify those elements that reflect initial and widely supported goals to appropriately promote and achieve diversity and inclusion along many dimensions, while identifying those areas where programs have failed to meet identified and valid objectives, or may have lost their way, by excessively promoting identitarian thinking and action, and casting a pall on free expression.

5. Take a deep and serious look at the extent and consequences of diminished intellectual and political viewpoint diversity within the university, and what might be done to address this while fully respecting academic freedom.

Some but not all of these recommendations seem pertinent to Irish education and indeed Ireland generally. Others are risks we should definitely guard against. 

Irish Economic Association Annual Conference 2024 – Call for Papers

The 37th Annual Irish Economic Association Conference is being organised by the Discipline of Economics, University of Galway and will be held at the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May 2024. The keynote speakers are Prof. Costas Meghir, Douglas A. Warner III Professor of Economics at Yale University, and Prof. Lucrezia Reichlin, Professor of Economics at London Business School.

Three types of submissions to the conference are invited:

1) Full presentations: These are 25 minutes in length and require the submission of a full paper by the person who intends to present.
2) Short presentations (Flash Talks): These are 10 mins in length, can be work-in-progress, and require the submission of either an extended abstract (approx. 2 pages) or early draft paper. While short presentations are aimed primarily at providing early career researchers with an opportunity to present their work and develop their conference experience and skills, these sessions are also open to more experienced researchers who wish to present early-stage work and/or give a shorter presentation.
3) Organised sessions: These are full sessions of 1.5 hours on a specific topic or area and are a new initiative at the IEA conference. Proposals for organised sessions must be submitted by one person (i.e. the organiser) and the session should include at least 3 but no more than 4 papers to be presented. One submission should be made by the organiser, and this should include extended abstracts and/or full papers for each presentation, along with a one-page overview and description of the organised session. The inclusion of at least one discussant is encouraged.

The deadline for all submissions is midnight on Tuesday February 6th 2024 and submissions can be made via the conference website: Please note that no author-identifying information should be included in any uploaded file(s) i.e. papers, extended abstracts, and organised session proposals.

A number of prizes will be awarded at the conference including the Denis Conniffe prize for best paper by a young economist, the Brendan Walsh prize for best paper published in the Economic and Social Review, the Novartis prize for best health economics paper, and the Irish Society for Women in Economics (ISWE) prize for best paper presented by a woman economist.

There will also be some pre-conference activities held at the conference venue on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday May 8th 2024. Details to be confirmed in due course.

Prof. Donal O’Neill R.I.P

On behalf of the Economics Department in Maynooth University.

We are greatly saddened by the news that our colleague in Maynooth’s Economics Department, Donal O’Neill, has died after a short illness. He was just 56.

Donal was a first-rate economist and published in many top journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Labor Economics and the Journal of Human Resources. He was an excellent, innovative teacher and a wonderful colleague. Donal’s main research fields were labour economics and inequality, but he also had a considerable interest in econometric methodology, which fed into his applied research. Among his many contributions to the Irish economics community, he served as president of the Irish Economic Association from 2014-16 and as an enthusiastic member of the inaugural Irish Low Wage Commission.

All of his work was marked by a real love of Economics – he never stopped being fascinated by the insights Economics offered, or by its potential as a force for good. Donal was also a very decent and kind person. He will be very sadly missed.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends, particularly with his wife, Olive Sweetman, also a member of Maynooth’s Economics Department.