Fiscal Council Conference 8th-9th February

The Fiscal Council has an exciting lineup for its fifth annual Path for the Public Finances conference.

This year’s theme is “Ensuring debt sustainability in a post-Covid world”.

The conference will focus on the theme of fiscal policy in the era of high public debt and low interest rates that follows the outbreak of Covid-19.

The conference has two sessions: the first looks at fiscal policy of high debt conditional on current interest rates (debt sustainability analysis; what does it means for the fiscal rules, how should policymakers respond). The second takes a more “big picture” look at the sustainability of low interest rates given high public debt, ageing, financial implications and whether such pressures might influence monetary policy.

The conference takes place over 8th – 9th February 2021 from 2pm – 4pm both afternoons.

Speakers include Olivier Blanchard, Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Charles Wyplosz, Hélène Rey, Philip Lane, Antonio Fatás and Karolina Ekholm.

Full programme and Registration details are available at the Fiscal Council’s website:

Economist Job Opportunities with the PBO

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in the Houses of the Oireachtas Service is seeking to recruit AO economists to fill vacancies which exist in the PBO. The positions would suit recent masters graduates or degree graduates with research work experience.

Candidates should acquaint themselves with the essential entry requirements for applying for this position, as described in the information booklet for the competition. Only applications completed via and submitted to and submitted on the official application forms will be accepted in this competition. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 1pm on Wednesday, 24 February 2021.

More information on the Parliamentary Budget Office and the type of work it undertakes can be found on

Annual Report on Public Debt in Ireland

The 2020 update of the Annual Debt Report from the Department of Finance is available here.

There are number of takeaways noted by the Department with government indebtedness significantly higher as a result of the pandemic. However, critically the report explores the reasons behind a fall in Ireland’s debt burden.

The Department have also published a set of three slides with a summary of key fiscal metrics while there is also a set of 15 animated slides on Flourish.

Irish Society for Women in Economics ‘Planning Workshop’ – 19th February 2021

The under-representation of women in economics is an international issue which is also replicated in Ireland.

The Irish Economic Association (IEA) is currently developing the Irish Society for Women in Economics (ISWE) to help address this issue.

On Friday 19th February from 9-11am we will hold our first ‘planning workshop’. The aim of this workshop is to learn from the experiences of similar initiatives in other countries and to discuss the substantive and organisational development of ISWE.

Anyone who is interested in being involved in ISWE is encouraged to attend. Both male and female economists working in the public or private sector on the island of Ireland are welcome. PhD students are particularly encouraged to attend.

The workshop will have 2 parts:

·       First, Dr. Leonora Risse, Chair of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia, will share her experiences of setting up and developing WEN since 2017 (

·       Second, workshop participants will be divided into breakout rooms to brainstorm and discuss how best to develop ISWE in Ireland, covering topics such as the purpose of the society, its events and activities, its governance and funding structure. 

If you are interested in participating, please register in advance here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the workshop.

Pensions Commission

The website of the Pensions Commission is available here.

Part of the material presented to the Commission generated headlines while some of the issues the Commission will tackle were addressed in this piece by Sean Barrett.