Conference on Irish Economic Policy Programme

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Conference on Irish Economic Policy

Institute of Bankers, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1

February 1st

On February 1st 2013, the Dublin Economics Workshop, in conjunction with Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the Department of Economics at the University of Limerick (UL) and the Geary Institute at UCD is hosting a conference on Irish economy policy at the Institute of Bankers.

The conference will explore current issues in economic policy in key areas:  Education and Children, Industrial Policy, Unemployment/Social Protection, Economics and Evaluation, and the Political Economy of Austerity. The outline programme is set out below.

The conference aims to provide a forum for discussion of new ideas on the conduct of Irish economic policy, including the extent to which economics and related disciplines can make a greater contribution to the conduct of economic policy in Ireland, and the extent to which policy can be designed more effectively. The speakers and chairs come from a range of institutions and disciplines and there also be online access to presentations to ensure to enable debate through blogs and twitter.  There is no charge for the conference. Coffee will be provided free of charge mid-morning and there will be a break at 12.45 to enable participants to take lunch.

To register for the conference, please email: . Advance registration is essential for attendance at the conference, i.e., is required for entry to the facilities.

9.15- 9.45

Registration and Opening


1. Education and Children

2. Industrial Policy

CHAIR: Minister Frances Fitzgerald (D/Children and Youth Affairs)

1. Orla Doyle (UCD/Geary) Experimental Evidence on the Early Effectiveness of Intervention in Childhood

2. Emer Smyth (ESRI) School factors and student outcomes: insights from longitudinal research

CHAIR:  Declan Hughes (Forfás)

1. Donal Palcic & Eoin Reeves (UL) Privatisation: past performance and prospects.

2. Fergal McCann SMEs in Ireland: Contributions, Credit and Economic Crisis (Central Bank)




3. The Labour Market

4. Economics and Evaluation

CHAIR: John McKeon (D/Social Protection)

1. Eilish Kelly (ESRI), Seamus McGuiness (ESRI), Philip O’Connell (UCD/Geary) Activation in Ireland: Are we on the Right Path?

2. Bryan Fanning (UCD) Why did Ireland become so open to immigration?

3. Frank Walsh (UCD) The union wage premium in Ireland

CHAIR: Frances Ruane  (ESRI)

1. Ronnie Downes (D/Public Expenditure and Reform) Economics & Evaluation in the Public Service – Capacity and Commitment?

2. Gail Birkbeck (Atlantic Philantrophies) Evaluating Services and Expenditures in the Social sector

3. Helena Lenihan (UL), Evaluating the impact of enterprise/industrial policy supports: developing new methods and approaches


Lunch Break


Plenary Session: Political Economy of Austerity

CHAIR: Robert Watt (D/Public Expenditure and Reform)

1. Niamh Hardiman (UCD) The politics of austerity budgets

2. Michael Taft  (UNITE) The Great Stagnation

3. Frank Barry (TCD), European Integration and Austerity

4. Colm McCarthy, Dubrovnik International University, What Kind of Banking Union for the Eurozone?

(We’ll be updating the conference programme as provisional titles come in).

14 Responses to “Conference on Irish Economic Policy Programme”

  1. David O'Donnell Says:

    Our man in Dubrovnik says [... ... ... ... ...].

    Complete in five words on how to save the Irish economy. Free passport for the most enlightening entry.

  2. Joseph Ryan Says:

    Best of luck with conference.
    I hope the privatisation presentation will take in the broader issue of the efficacy of extracting best value from the now public banking system.
    Gifting the banks to the private sector so that we can get ‘all’ get back to bonuses may not exactly enhance State value.
    [Or is it bonussen or boni or bona]

  3. John Corcoran Says:

    In Ireland the interface between private property and the public sector is where much political corruption occurs.Two examples are the planning process and state/sovereign commercial leases. The findings of the Mahon Tribunal were “Corruption in Irish political life was both systemic and endemic”. In the Moriarty Tribunal the findings were ” What was attempted on the part of Mr Dunne and Mr Lowry was profoundly corrupt to a degree that was nothing short of breathtaking”

    Former Taoiseach Mr Haughey required a minimum of a million pounds per year, to finance his lavish lifestyle. Many of Mr Haughey’s bagmen are sovereign landlords-this was the pay back. Many Irish politicians families,friends and bagmen are sovereign landlords. This is institutionalised political corruption. The sovereign should be a price maker not a price taker,because of it’s unbeatable covenant. These sovereign leases are sovereign bonds with the notorious ratchet upward-only rent review attached. Sovereign landlords have bled the state dry using this feudal lease law and have wasted billions of Irish citizens money. We are alone in the eurozone with this feudal commercial lease law.

    In all other jurdisdictions commercial property is valued on the quality of the property,in Ireland it is valued on the quality of the tenant. Reckless Irish banks lent tens of billions against these ruinous leases,not against the properties,and created the greatest commercial property bubble in the history of mankind. When this bubble burst it bankrupted the Irish banks and the sovereign. The only reason our country has these feudal leases is because the sovereign signed them.

  4. cynical Says:

    John Corcoran

    Rather than endlessly repeat your mantra, why not volunteer to give a presentation at this excellent conference?

  5. Brian Woods Snr Says:

    @ JR: My Latin dictonary states:

    bonum, -i. nt: wealth: goods. Which makes its 3rd decl. Plural would be -a.

  6. John Corcoran Says:


    My memory goes back to 1998/9/2000/01/02/03/04/05/06/07/ when David McWilliams repeated his mantra that there was a massive property bubble in Ireland. Most people were tired of his old mantra,they had much more important issues to discuss.

    I would be honoured to be considered to address the above conference but I very much doubt if any Irish politician or economist would want to listen to my mantra. Keep up the good work, and best wishes with the conference.

  7. seafóid Says:

    A good topic for a future confab would be the follow up to this

    and why nothing was done

  8. DOCM Says:

    @ All


    In sum, there does not seem to be much confidence among EA creditor countries in the ability of the current governing class, for want of a better description, to get Ireland out of its difficulties.

    One wonders how this fact might suitably be inserted into the programme for the conference.

  9. Irish Economy Crisis ConferenceStephen Kinsella | Stephen Kinsella Says:

    [...] Irish Economy Crisis Conference [...]

  10. veronica Says:


    This looks like it will be a great conference and best of luck on the day.

    I had really hoped to attend but short of the magic of bilocation that’s not on. Do you plan to post the conference papers/presentations?

  11. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    @ DOCM

    The Action Plan for Jobs will be updated next month with a new laundry list of initiatives but there is no serious strategy to meet the challenge of creating 200,000 net jobs and the economy will not take off ‘like a rocket’ when an international recovery is sustained.

    Just 3 people have secured visas under the Government’s much-hyped “visas for cash”, which sees wealthy individuals offered residency in return for investing in Irish companies; 11 people have got visas under the Government’s start-up entrepreneur scheme; the “Succeed in Ireland” scheme where an award of €1,500 per job created was on offer to anyone who could bring jobs to Ireland – - 10 jobs created as reported by Namawinelake.

    At a European level, there is not one market and every country has particular problems.

    France has often depended on increasing public sector jobs but 27% of its workforce is now in public employment compared with Germany’s 15%, the US at 17% and China at 10%!

    In the UK, the employment rate is at the highest since at least 1971 and between September 2011 and September 2012, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 324,000 and the number of people employed in the private sector increased by 823,000.

    However, UK pay is now more than 15% lower in real terms than where it would have been if it had followed the pre–crisis trend.

    Ireland and the Netherlands assist the bias towards capital from labour by facilitating huge tax avoidance.

  12. Stephen Kinsella Says:

    @Veronica, we’ll record the talks and put the slides up, yes.

  13. veronica Says:


    Thanks. I’ll look forward to that. I’m fed up about missing the conference, especially the afternoon session.

  14. Seanán Kerr Says:

    Conference slides and MP3 now available here

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