Economic and Social Review: Spring Issue Published

The Spring edition of the ESR has been published. The full edition is available here.

As usual, the journal carries a wide range of articles on Economic and Social Science topics. Below are the titles, with links to the individual articles. Happy reading!

The Long-term Consequences of the Irish Marriage Bar by Irene Mosca and Robert E. Wright

Bonding and Bridging Social Capital: The Determinants of English Language Fluency and Its Effects on the Labour Market Outcome of International Students in Ireland by Zizhen Wang

Private Health Insurance in Ireland: Trends and Determinants by Kanika Kapur

The Base of Party Political Support in Ireland: An Update by David Madden

Respect Your Elders: Evidence from Ireland’s R&D Tax Credit Reform by Jean Acheson and Rory Malone

Ireland’s Fiscal Spending Multipliers by Kate Ivory, Eddie Casey and Niall Conroy

Modelling and Measuring Gains from Labour Market Desegregation in Northern Ireland by Hannah KM Kling

Lecture by Seamus Coffey Reflecting on Ireland’s Fiscal Framework

FOUNDATION FOR FISCAL STUDIES 

SEMINAR

“Reflections on Ireland’s Fiscal Framework”

Seamus Coffey

Thursday 12 March 2020 @ 8.30am

(Registration + tea/coffee/pastries from 8.00am)

 Irish Tax Institute, South Block, Longboat Quay, Dublin 2

Seamus Coffey is a lecturer in the Department of Economics in University College Cork.  His research and writing focuses on the performance of the Irish economy. He recently completed a four-year term as a member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and served as chair for the past three years.  In October 2016, he was appointed the independent expert by the Minister for Finance to undertake a review of Ireland’s Corporation Tax code. This seminar will provide an assessment of elements of Ireland’s fiscal framework including the role and impact of the Fiscal Council, the design and implementation of fiscal rules in the face of Irish idiosyncrasies like GDP and Corporation Tax, and a discussion of some possible changes to the fiscal framework that might arise.

About the Foundation

The Foundation for Fiscal Studies was established in 1985 as an independent, non-profit making body with the primary object of promoting study and discussion of issues relating to fiscal policy. The Foundation provides a unique forum open to academics, policy makers, taxation and legal experts and the general public from which critical and constructive contributions can be made to developments in Ireland and the European Union. Our aim is to assist in the process of debate and decision-making on future fiscal policies.

If you would like to attend, please contact:  info@fiscal.ie

(Please note that this is an open event and everyone is welcome but we ask that you rsvp in advance)

The Dis-equalising impact of Housing

A guest post by Dr. Paul Kilgarriff from his recently published paper (gated) by the same title.

The measure of a household’s income should include not only monetary components such as salary but also non-monetary components and in-kind benefits, such as imputed rent. Imputed rent is the rent an owner can expect to receive were the house on the rental market. Being an owner-occupier does not provide a rental income however, it saves the owner from having to pay market rent. This is turn can increase a household’s potential to consume other products and services. We recently published a paper in the Journal of Housing Economics looking at the impact of housing consumption on the spatial distribution of income. 

Results show that the imputed cash flows from property ownership decreases the income share of those at the bottom of the income distribution and is inequality increasing, except in the case of those aged 65 +. Spatially the benefits of housing are greatest in urban areas where property values are highest. The small area measurements of imputed rent highlight the dis-equalising impact imputed rent and housing wealth has on inequality; the rich being able to consume more housing and thus have higher imputed rents. Overall there is an increase in inequality from a Gini of 0.37159 to 0.38595.

Table 1 highlights the impacts between income deciles. We see the share of income for those in the bottom and top decile both decreased after the inclusion of housing. The middle deciles have experienced the biggest increase in share of income. The lower groups are disadvantaged from paying housing costs and not receiving same in-kind benefits as owner-occupiers. Elderly individuals who were in the bottom quintiles (cash poor but asset rich) have increased their income share after housing costs and benefits are considered. 

Table 1

Disposable Income+ Imputed Rent+ Imputed RMADisposable Income+ Imputed Rent+ Imputed & RMA
Decile% of median% of median% of medianShareShareShare
148.929.129.33.11.01.4
259.457.650.44.13.63.3
369.274.869.74.95.55.0
483.487.085.45.86.76.4
5100.0100.0100.07.07.77.7
6121.4115.3117.98.48.99.0
7147.8135.8140.610.210.310.6
8181.9166.6170.312.512.412.8
9235.8216.8222.615.615.615.9
10   28.528.328.0

We see how this looks spatially in Figure 1, which shows the Anselin Local Moran’s I for disposable income including net imputed rent. This is a measure of local spatial autocorreltation, high values located close to other high values indicate positive spatial autocorrelation. The figure shows clusters of high-high areas in the GDA and Cork city. This is because of high levels of disposable income and high imputed rents due to high property values.

Figure 1

Additional housing benefits are related to the benefit derived from the value of the asset. A reverse mortgage/annuity (RMA) enables owner-occupiers to use their home as equity to buy an annuity, which provide them with regular payments, without the need to move out or sell the house therefore providing security of tenure. Without including reverse mortgage/annuity in the analysis, the household would leave behind a significant amount of equity, which is then bequeathed to descendants contributing to inequality. Using reverse mortgage/annuity however treats households as separate units as the household will consume the value of the property before death. Households can overconsume to make up for periods of under consumption, i.e. when paying a mortgage. Reverse mortgage/annuity has the potential to financially protect households 65 + by acting as an additional pension, they have paid into over the term of the mortgage. The stream of consumption value provided by housing compensates the elderly who are ‘cash poor but asset rich’.

Policy Implications

After accounting for housing costs in the form of rent and mortgage payments and housing benefits in the form of imputed rent and reverse mortgage/annuity, the spatial distribution of welfare changes. On average the income share of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) increases, however when the movers are examined, the high rents and property values and overall benefits to owner occupiers in the GDA, are masking the high costs young renters face. This highlights the importance of examining issues such as housing inequality at a detailed spatial scale as opposed to aggregate totals. However, overall the net gain to owner-occupiers does not exceed the net loss to non-owner-occupiers and inequality nationally increases. The inequality measures show that overall housing costs and benefits are having a regressive impact on the income distribution with those at the lower end of the income distribution disproportionately affected. The income share of lower groups decreases after net imputed rent.

In terms of policy implications, a tax on imputed rent should be examined which may reduce the inequality between those who own a house and those who are renting. The current LPT is attempting to address this however the tax is levied on all properties, this is despite private renters not receiving the same level of benefits from housing as owner-occupiers. The LPT should account for the variation in housing benefits across the life-cycle. Effective implementation may incentivise those in the older age categories to take out a reverse mortgage/annuity.

Increased uptake of RMA may result in the older age categories consuming the housing wealth as opposed to bequeathing. This can address issues relating to the inequality of inherited wealth. The high rental values particularly in the GDA may hinder an individual’s ability to save and eventually draw down a mortgage. Solutions are required to increase an individual’s potential to save. There are clear benefits to owner-occupation especially for the elderly. If current trends of decreasing home ownership levels continue, future elderly groups will be particularly vulnerable, as they would not have the financial safety net in the form of a housing asset.

Methodology

This study examined the impact of net imputed rent on the distribution of income in a spatial context. The spatial impact of net imputed rent, mortgage payments, private rent, public rent (social housing schemes) and reverse mortgage/annuity on the spatial distribution of disposable income was examined for the year 2011. A spatial microsimulation model, simulated model of the Irish local economy (SMILE), was used to simulated disposable income at a detailed spatial scale. Rental and property values are estimated at a spatial scale adopting the kriging methodology. The created rental and property data were merged into the SMILE simulated dataset to examine the impact of housing on the spatial distribution of disposable income at a small area level.

Going Forward

Comparing home ownership rates between the 2011 and 2016 Census (Table 2), there is an overall drop in owner occupancy by 2%. Overall owner-occupier households have declined by ~2300; in addition, there are 48000 new households over this 5 year period. In the future, a large group will not have the benefit of homeownership in retirement in relation to both imputed rent and RMA. Although the numbers renting privately increased, the share remained the same. The difference in households private renting also varies between counties (Dublin city decreasing by over 2%; Longford increasing by 1.3%). 

Table 2

Census20112016
Owner (outright or mortgage)0.700.68
Renting Private0.190.18
Public Housing0.090.09
Free of Rent0.020.02
Not Stated0.010.03

Funding

This research was funded under the John and Pat Hume Doctoral Awards at Maynooth University.

DEW 2020 Annual Economic Policy Conference: save the date & call for papers

Founded in 1977, the Dublin Economics Workshop (DEW) Annual Economic Policy Conference is Ireland’s longest standing and premier forum for economic policy debate. Attended by policymakers, academics and practitioners, it aims to provide an opportunity for evidence-based policy debate and discussion. The 43rd DEW Annual Economic Policy Conference will take place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September 2020 in Clayton Whites Hotel, County Wexford.

The Committee would like to invite those interested in presenting at the conference to submit a paper or proposal to sarah@dublineconomics.com by Friday 27th March. Papers and proposals on the following topics are especially welcomed:

  • Housing
  • The health system
  • Income inequality and poverty
  • International corporation tax reform
  • Competitiveness
  • The Future of EU and UK relations

All submissions will be treated fairly but cannot be guaranteed to be accepted for inclusion.
Barra Roantree (Economic and Social Research Institute), on behalf of the DEW Committee

Low Pay Commission Research Bursaries

The Low Pay Commission of Ireland is seeking applications for two Research Bursaries of €25,000 each. The purpose of these bursaries is to provide more knowledge and information in relation to low pay and labour market economics in Ireland. More information is available here and is summarised below.

  • Applicants must be either full-time researchers or Ph.D students with a supervisor with expertise in the relevant area.
  • Research proposals must be on topics related to low pay in Ireland or related topics where the research would have a bearing on the issues which the Commission is obliged to consider in its terms of reference (available at the link).
  • The recipient of the bursary would commit to producing a substantial piece of research, completed with a year of 27th March 2020 (the date at which approvals will be known), which should be of a standard that it could be publishable in a good peer reviewed social science or economic journal. The recipient would be expected to provide a progress report on the work within 6 months and to supply a finished research paper which would be presented in a public seminar within a year of receiving the bursary.
  • While the research bursaries will be for one year, we are hopeful that this scheme will run in future years. If this is so, researchers who are engaged in projects that last longer than a year will be free to reapply for continuing funding.

Applicants should send a completed application form (available at the link) as well as a C.V to secretarylpc@welfare.ie by 28th February 2020. (Ph.D student applicants should also send their supervisor’s CV, as well as a letter from their supervisor supporting their application, confirming that they are supervising the applicant and outlining how the project would be supervised over the period of the bursary.)

Irish Economic Association Annual Conference 2020

A message on behalf of my Trinity Economics colleagues, Carol, Davide and Michael, who are organising this year’s Irish Economics Association conference [RL]

The 34th Annual Irish Economic Association Conference will be held in Trinity College Dublin on Thursday, May 7th and Friday, May 8th, 2020.

The keynote speakers will be Prof. Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics at the London Business School, and Prof. Ulrike Malmendier, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Association invites submissions of papers to be considered for the conference programme. Preference will be given to submissions that include a full paper. Papers may be on any area in Economics, Finance and Econometrics.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 14th of February 2020 and submissions can be made through this site. Kindly note that there will be no extension to this deadline this year.

More information is available at the iea.ie website: http://www.iea.ie/2020-iea-annual-conference/

Criticism and praise in the run up to the 2020 General Election

2020 will see an election held in Ireland. By all accounts the election is imminent. The 2020 election will be fought, as all elections are, on the basis of promises. That part of the electorate who show up to the polling stations gets to decide the next government, and it will do so partly on how much credibility it chooses to attach to the promises of the various parties. 

The electorate will also make its decision in a markedly different macroeconomic context to 2011, and even to 2016. Given where the current government started from, the macroeconomic situation could not really be much better.

The number of people in employment has never been higher. Inflation is relatively low, growth in incomes is a feature of many workers’ experiences, personal consumption is up, house prices seem to be finally moderating, and the government is spending the proceeds of a taxation exercise that has actually doubled in under a decade. The state’s spending on current, capital, and pay has rarely been higher in any category. The latest figures from the Department of Finance show the government choosing to move quickly towards a surplus, while clearly showing their understanding of the risk to corporation tax revenue arising from changes at the EU and OECD levels coming down the line. Bullet point 4 of the press release, which is repeated elsewhere in the latest Finance discussions, is particularly interesting. It simply says:

Implementation of OECD BEPS initiative will likely result in a decline in corporation taxation receipts, making the need to account for reduced revenue essential. 

Department of Finance

An electorate looking only at the macro aggregates would most likely return some version of the current government, or another coalition version with an almost identical policy mix. So why doesn’t the government get some measure of praise for its handling of the economy? Paschal Donohoe and his colleagues have chosen to tighten before an election. To call that rare is an understatement. 

Over on Twitter, IBEC’s Gerard Brady posed the question below, and the echo chamber podcast posed it as well. Obviously these polls aren’t statistically significant, twitter is not reality, and it is just a small indicator, but it’s roughly what you’d expect at the higher end. The likelihood of the government getting a fair crack of the whip for its work seems relatively low.

One might argue that fiscal tightening like this is mere posturing ahead of an election, but the fact is that the opposite behaviour—spending like it was going out of fashion–would be far more advantageous electorally. Also, fiscal tightening is behaviour economists would praise any finance minister for at this point in an economic cycle, absent an electoral contest. 

There is a curious lack of symmetry in the public commentary on the economy between praise and criticism, and this is something I’d like to remedy. 

Let’s be real about it: the 2016 election showed voters don’t really connect with positive macroeconomic measures like GDP (or its newer cousin GNI*) the way readers of this blog might. Issues at a more micro level dominate, and that is completely fair.

It is also fair to say macroeconomic figures obviously matter. How much they matter, the credit working on getting the macro issues right, to the public is a testable hypothesis, and the election might well provide us the answer.

Naysayers can, will, and should point to the plethora of cock ups and plain old policy failures that have happened since 2016. Lord knows I have, in the pages of the Sunday Business Post and now The Currency. The health and housing situations have not improved at the speed the public want them to. Some large capital spending projects have been poorly executed. All of those are true, all are important. The country’s emergency rooms are bursting. Homelessness remains a scandal. It is not for me to defend the government’s record on these matters. I’m not a strategist for them, or for any other party. 

I would however like us to acknowledge that spending more on housing, health, or education or at a faster rate would imply more deficit spending, and further endanger the economy at a moment when the risks from corporation tax falling off a cliff are high, not to mention Brexit and a host of other macro risks might take a chunk of our growth with them, should they come to pass. In this context, choosing not to do some things and to focus on attaining some class of a surplus should be praised. And it is not. I have a problem with that.

Anyone wanting credibility in the forthcoming election should be prepared to talk about the trade-offs inherent in governing an economy like ours, and justify their choices. The trade-off doesn’t quite boil down to “invest by borrowing and spending on infrastructure to increase quality of life” vs “prepare for future shocks by driving increased budget surpluses”, but it’s not far off. Whichever vision the electorate plumbs for is fine, but the trade-off has to be explicit. Journalists and commentators should be prepared to call out parties advocating vast spending increases and lowering taxes just to attain high office. I want to believe we live in a country where endlessly repeated stupid three-word slogans and unsustainable fiscal phantasies have no place. 

Musgrave’s 1959 framework applies to the Irish economy. It says that any government must make sure its finances are in reasonable shape, have some view towards resource allocation, and have a stance on resource redistribution. Undeniably, the first objective has been met. The resource allocation and resource distribution pieces seem to me to be where the arguments are going to be during the next general election. Here again the parties of government can make their arguments for themselves. 

I’m all for robust criticism where it is warranted, but I think where praise is justified, it should be given.

Low Pay Commission Research Bursaries

The Irish Low Pay Commission is currently seeking applications for two Research Bursaries of €25,000 each. The purpose of these bursaries is to provide the Commission with more evidence and research in the areas of low pay and the Irish labour market.

Applicants must be full-time researchers with a proven track record in producing high quality peer reviewed research, or PhD students who are enrolled in a PhD programme.

For further information on the bursary and the requirements please see

https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/2336a5-news-from-the-low-pay-commission/

Applicants will be requested to send their completed application, form as well as a C.V to secretarylpc@welfare.ie by the 28th February 2020.

the application form is available at the links above and is fairly straightforward

Review of Irish Government Tax Forecasting

The Department of Finance has published a detailed review of its approach to tax forecasting, its first such review since 2008. These are periodic exercises undertaken to assess the methodology and accuracy of forecasts. Especially in the context of on-going debate about the sustainability of various tax headings, it will no doubt be relevant for those with an interest in public policy, macroeconomics, forecasting and tax.

50th Anniversary Edition of The Economic and Social Review

The Winter 2019 edition of the Economic and Social Review celebrates the 50th anniversary of the journal with a great mix papers, looking back at topics featured regularly over the journal’s history and coming right up to present day debates in economic and social policy. Hope you all enjoy the examples of past contributions and evidence on continued vibrancy of the journal.

Introduction to the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Economic and Social Review

by Martina Lawless, Managing Editor

Contributing to Macro-Economic Policy in Ireland 

by John FitzGerald

Fifty Years a-Growing: Economic History and Demography in The Economic and Social Review

by Cormac Ó Gráda

The Economic and Social Review at 50: A Review Article on Fiscal Policy Papers

by David Madden

Health in the ESR: Observations and Reflections

by John Cullinan

Ireland’s Gender Wage Gap, Past and Present

by Aedín Doris

From Income Poverty to Multidimensional Quality of Life

by Christopher T. Whelan, Dorothy Watson, Bertrand Maître

Export Structure, FDI and the Rapidity of Ireland’s Recovery from Crisis

by Frank Barry and Adele Bergin

The Euro at 20: Successes, Problems, Progress and Threats

by Karl Whelan

South-North Trade in Ireland: Gravity and Firms from the Good Friday Agreement to Brexit

by Martina Lawless, J. Peter Neary and Zuzanna Studnicka

The Digital Learning Movement: How Should Irish Schools Respond?

by Ann Marcus-Quinn, Tríona Hourigan and Selina McCoy

Modelling Recent Developments in Corporation Tax

For those interested in fiscal issues and tax modelling/forecasting, two economists in the Department of Finance, Gerard McGuinness and Diarmaid Smyth, have just published a working paper looking at Corporation Tax.

The paper uses both micro- and macro-economic perspectives and focuses on the marked rise in CT receipts and corporate profitability since 2014 is highlighted.

The paper is available from this link.

Women@Econ Event

The women@econ program at UCD School of Economics is an initiative aimed at increasing the number of females studying economics and pursuing it as a career through a series of career and networking events.

The first event is a panel Q&A session with speakers from government, industry, and academia and takes place on Thursday 21 Nov 6-8pm at Newman Theatre R. All welcome, register here.

List of speakers:

  • Elena Mazza (Economist at the Central Bank of Ireland)
  • Martina Lawless (Associate Research Professor at ESRI)
  • Deirdre Coy (PhD Candidate at UCD School of Economics)
  • Claire Doyle (Economist in the Parliamentary Budget Office, Houses of the Oireachtas)
  • Kajsa Svensson (Qualified Accountant at Western Union)
  • Maria Krump (Global Safety Investigator at Facebook)

Aviation conferences in Vienna, Nov 6th-8th 2019

Aviation Pricing: Issues and Innovations for Airlines, Airports and ATC.

The European Aviation Conference (EAC) 2019 takes place in Vienna this avyear. Complete details including booking engine on conference website www.eac-conference.com. EAC takes place on Thurs-Fri 6th-7th November.

This year, the EAC is preceded by the first meeting of a new organisation: the Aviation Management and Economics Conference (AMEC) conference, also in Vienna, on Wednesday November 5th. Programme here.

These meetings will  be of interest to those with an interest in aviation, whether from an academic or business viewpoint.

Booking your Place

If these questions are relevant to your work, then register for EAC 2019 at the conference website: www.eac-conference.com

Further information on the EAC below the break. 

Continue reading “Aviation conferences in Vienna, Nov 6th-8th 2019”

Economic and Social Review – Autumn 2019

The latest issue of the Economic and Social Review is now available here.

This edition contains the following papers:

Examining the volatility of Ireland’s tax base in the paradigm of modern portfolio theory

Keith Fitzgerald and Jacopo Bedogni

Partnership dissolution after childbirth in Ireland: on the importance of pregnancy intentions

Thorsten Schneider

Irish attitudes to Muslim immigrants

Éamonn Fahey, Frances McGinnity and Raffale Grotti

Policy Section Articles:

Europe in transition: the future place of the environment in the European Union

Finbarr Brereton and Eoin O’Neill

Have Irish sovereign bonds decoupled from the Euro Area periphery, and why?

David Cronin, Peter Dunne and Kieran McQuinn

Evaluating Post-Leaving Certificate provision in Ireland

Seamus McGuinness, Adele Bergin, Elish Kelly, Selina McCoy, Emer Smyth and Adele Whelan

Estimating, and interpreting, retirement income replacement rates

Sanna Nivakoski and Alan Barrett

Interesting new research on SME credit access

A new paper by Central Bank economist John McQuinn published on Friday looks at how financing of small and medium enterprises varies across countries and finds that the long shadow of the financial crisis still seems to be having an effect on the ability of some small firms to access bank credit even when their measurable performance would seem to qualify.

Figure 5 on page 20 might be the most interesting for an Irish audience – showing continuing tighter credit here than elsewhere after controlling for a whole range of firm and bank factors.

Economic and Social History Society of Ireland Annual Conference 2019

Economic and Social History Society of Ireland Annual Conference 2019

University College Cork, 6 and 7 December 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS

Proposals for papers, or for panels of papers, are solicited for the Annual Conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, which will be held at University College Cork, on Friday 6 December and Saturday 7 December 2019. The conference is jointly organised by the Department of Economics and the School of History.

Paper proposals relating to all aspects of economic and social history will be considered.

The conference will be held in the former Cork Savings Bank branch on Lapp’s Quay in the heart of Cork City. This landmark building was constructed in 1842 and has recently been restored for the Cork University Business School.

This year’s Connell Lecture will be delivered by Morgan Kelly, Professor of Economics at University College Dublin.

Abstracts of papers and proposals for panels should be sent to Dr Eoin McLaughlin (eoin.mclaughlin@ucc.ie) by Friday 4 October 2019.

Abstracts should be between 250 and 300 words. Panel proposals should include a session title, contact details for all speakers and abstracts for all papers to be included in the session.

For more information about the society, please visit our website: http://www.eshsi.org/.

DEW 2019 Conference – deadline

This year’s Dublin Economics Workshop (DEW) Economic Policy Conference, sponsored by Dublin Chamber, takes place in Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford on 13/14h September 2019.

The programme is available at this link. All bookings can be made via the website, www.dublineconomics.com, with special all-in fee packages available, which include 2 nights bed & breakfast and the gala dinner on Friday. Due to the large demand for accommodation, the booking system will be closing soon, please book now to avoid disappointment.

The line-up this year includes the Cantillon Lecture by Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and the William Petty address, by Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist with the IIEA. There are also sessions on the Euro at 20, on small open economies in a changing world, and Ireland’s labour market, healthcare and housing systems, as well as a session on sustainability, featuring Dermot Nolan, the Chief Executive of Ofgem.

Annual Report on Public Debt in Ireland 2019

The Department of Finance has published is third annual report on public debt, the aim of which is to provide a comprehensive analysis of public debt dynamics in Ireland. Aside from highlighting the main changes in public debt over the past year, this report introduces several new analytical pieces focusing on broader aspects of government debt, including the State’s balance sheet and several sustainability indicators. This is likely to be useful for students, as well as those with an interest in macroeconomics and the public finances.

You can find the report here.

Dublin Economics Workshop – 2019 conference

The details for the 42nd annual Dublin Economics Workshop (DEW) Economic Policy Conference are now live. The conference, which is sponsored by Dublin Chamber, takes place in Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford on 13/14th September 2019. Further details, including the programme and booking details, can be found at the DEW’s new website.

The line-up this year includes: Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist with the IIEA and Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive at Ofgem. The conference covers a number of important topics this year, including the 20th Anniversary of the Euro, sustainability, housing and the labour market.

As well as a new website, with an improved booking facility, there are a number of other improvements to the conference, based on feedback received in previous years. This includes a more spacious room within the hotel and a gala dinner on the Friday night.

Economic and Social Review – Summer 2019

The latest edition of the Economic and Social Review is now available at www.esr.ie.

This edition contains the following papers:

Globalisation: A Macro-Financial Perspective – Geary Lecture 2019

Philip R. Lane

Household Energy Consumption: A Study of Micro Renewable Energy Systems in Ireland

Michael Chesser, Jim Hanly, Damien Cassells, Nikolaos Apergis

A Populist Wave or Metamorphosis of a Chameleon? Populist Attitudes and the Vote in 2016 in the United States and Ireland

Stephen Quinlan, Deirdre Tinney

Policy Section Articles:

Aggressive Tax Planning Practices and Inward-FDI Implications for Ireland of the New US Corporate Tax Regime

Frank Barry

Local Multipliers: IDA Supported Companies in the Irish Regions

Gerard Brady

You Don’t Miss the Water ’til the Well Runs Dry’: Factors Influencing the Failure of Domestic Water Charges in Ireland

J. Peter Clinch, Anne Pender

An Analysis of Antenatal Care Pathways to Mode of Birth in Ireland

Paddy Gillespie, Sharon Walsh, John Cullinan, Declan Devane

Are lower airport charges consistent with a larger investment budget? Actually, under exceptional demand growth, they’re unavoidable.

Users of Dublin airport in 2019 pay the daa up to €9.65 each time they use the airport’s infrastructure. Flying from Dublin to Stansted and back for example incurs four sets of aircraft charges, as each of the airports’ facilities are used twice.

Last month, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) proposed as part of its draft determination on Dublin airport charges that the price cap be set at €7.50 per passenger for the next five years (2020-2024). The press statement issued by the CAR stated that the proposed new price cap included all of the airport’s future investment plan, costing some €1.8bn. The CAR invited the views of interested parties by a deadline of 8 July.

The daa’s responding press statement expressed extreme concern at the proposed price cap especially because in the daa’s view the lower average charge  would not allow the airport operator to implement its investment programme.  On 14 June, the Irish Times reported that the airport CEO, Mr. Dalton Philips, had “stood down” work on new investment at the airport in protest at the proposed reduction in the price cap, seeking instead that the price stay close to €9.65 in the next regulatory period. Mr. Philips also set out the daa view on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday morning (inter alia claiming the lower price cap would lead to a ‘yellow pack’ airport).

On the face of it, one might easily wonder whether higher (investment) spending could be funded from lower charges. This post is an analysis of that aspect of the proposed airport price cap.

Continue reading “Are lower airport charges consistent with a larger investment budget? Actually, under exceptional demand growth, they’re unavoidable.”

130th Barrington Medal, 2019/2020

Call for Submissions

The Barrington Medal is awarded annually by the Council of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland under the auspices of the Barrington Trust (founded in 1836 by the bequest of John Barrington). The award, which includes both a silver medal and €1,000, is intended to recognise a promising new researcher in the economic and social sciences in Ireland. This will be the 171st anniversary of the lecture series and the recipient will be the 130th Barrington Lecturer. A list of recipients over the past 35 years is included in the attached call for submissions.

The lecture should be based on a paper of not more than 7,500 words addressing a topic of relevance to economic or social policy and of current interest in Ireland. In treating the issue of economic or social policy, the paper may either report the findings of a statistical research study dealing with some aspect of the problem or deal with the underlying theoretical considerations involved, or preferably combine these two approaches. It should be written in a manner that makes it accessible to non-specialists in the area. More technical material may be included in an appendix. The paper is published in the Journal of the Society, so it should not have been published before (nor should it be published subsequently without the prior consent of the Council of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland).

Candidates, who at the time of their submission must be not more than 35 years of age, should at least submit a detailed abstract of approximately 1,000 words on the proposed lecture, with preference being given to full papers. A short CV and the name of a proposer who is familiar with their work should also be submitted. Entries will be accepted until 31st August, 2019 and should be sent to the Honorary Secretaries of the Society via email, using the email address secretary@ssisi.ie.

IPECE 2019 Programme

This year’s Irish Postgraduate and Early Career Economics Workshop will be hosted by the Discipline of Economics at NUI Galway on Thursday June 6th and Friday June 7th. The event is aimed at PhD students, PostDocs, early career researchers and advanced Masters students based in higher education and research institutions on the island of Ireland. The meeting will feature the work and findings of scholars in economics and related fields and will provide an excellent opportunity to engage with research results and work-in-progress in a welcoming and constructive environment. We encourage those working on economics research to attend.

This year the workshop will include a range of thematic sessions and training events, including full paper thematic sessions with discussants and early-stage/emerging research findings thematic sessions with general open discussion. Both will take place on Friday June 7th, along with a short training session on ‘Publishing your Research in Peer-Reviewed Journals – Tips from Journal Editors’. In addition, a workshop on ‘An Introduction to Machine Learning for Economists’ will take place on the afternoon of Thursday June 6th (see below), followed by a social event that evening. While the abstract submission date has passed, it is still possible to register to attend the workshop and associated training events, which are free. Please do so at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/irish-postgraduate-and-early-career-economics-ipece-workshop-at-nui-galway-tickets-56359973197 .

Workshop Programme

The programme is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/publicsub-sites/economics/files/other/Draft-Programme.pdf

Workshop Venue

The workshop will take place in the JE Cairnes Building at NUI Galway. Please see Building 22 at https://www.nuigalway.ie/media/buildingsoffice/files/maps/M12122_General_CampusMapWEBpdf220217.pdf. For details about getting to NUI Galway, please visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/contact-us/how-to-find-us.html. Please note that on campus parking is very limited and we suggest parking off site if travelling by car.

IPECE Training Event – An Introduction to Machine Learning for Economists

This training event will be delivered by Dr. Achim Ahrens from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on Thursday 6th June from 1pm to 5pm. It will provide an overview of popular Machine Learning techniques and the focus will be on LASSO regression, a regularization and model selection method that can deal with high-dimensional data. It will also discuss how the LASSO and other Machine Learning tools can be useful for economists; in particular, how Machine Learning can improve predictions and facilitate causal inference. The presentation will be followed by a demonstration using the Stata packages LASSOPACK and PDSLASSO. Please visit the Eventbrite link above to register to attend.

Contact
The local organising committee consists of Laura Carter, John Cullinan, Daniel Cassidy, Jason Harold, Dan Kelleher, Doris Laepple, Luke McGrath, Shikha Sharma and Michelle Queally at NUI Galway. Please direct inquiries to IPECE2019@gmail.com.

Support
Generous support from the Irish Economic Association (IEA) and the Discipline of Economics at NUI Galway is gratefully acknowledged.

SSISI AGM & Presidential Address

The Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland [ssisi.ie]

The Annual General Meeting of 172nd session of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland will take place at 5.30pm, on Thursday, May 23rd, at the Institute of International & European Affairs, 8 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1. The agenda for the AGM, and related papers, are available from the SSISI website.

The meeting will be followed by the closing presidential address by Professor Frances Ruane, entitled “The Changing Patterns of Production and Consumption of Official Statistics in Ireland, 1989-2019”. Non-members are welcome to attend from 5.30pm and to participate in the discussion of Prof Ruane’s address.

Revenue Annual Report for 2018

Revenue today published our Annual Report for last year, detailing the activities behind the collection of Exchequer receipts of €54.6 billion in 2018.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2019/pr-090519-revenue-publishes-2018-annual-report.aspx

Also published (links at the bottom of the page above) are a series of research papers and notes including our analysis of Corporation Tax payments in 2018 as well as returns for 2017.

SSISI Symposium, Chartered Accountants House (25 April)

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The Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland [ssisi.ie]

invites you to attend its 2019 Symposium on the following topic:

The Economies on the Island of Ireland

The Symposium will take place in Dublin on Thursday, April 25th, at 5.30pm, in the Achill Room on the 2nd floor of Chartered Accountants House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Non-members are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.