Latest edition of the Economic and Social Review

It is available here:



Analysing Residential Energy Demand: An Error Correction Demand System
Approach for Ireland
John Curtis, Brian Stanley  185-211

Analysing the Drivers of Services Firm Performance: Evidence for Ireland
Olubunmi Ipinnaiye, Declan Dineen, Helena Lenihan  213-245

Quantifying the Importance of Nationality in Determining International
Protection Outcomes in Ireland
Gerard Keogh 247-270

Policy Section Articles

The Introduction of Macroprudential Measures for the Irish Mortgage Market
Mark Cassidy, Niamh Hallissey  271-297

An Analysis of Local Public Finances and the 2014 Local Government Reforms
Gerard Turley, Stephen McNena 299-326

Very sad news – Brendan Walsh

We just heard this morning that Professor Brendan Walsh, formerly of UCD School of Economics and the ESRI, passed away suddenly.

Brendan was a hugely important and influential figure in the Irish economics community and a terrific colleague to boot.

People better qualified than me will no doubt write an appreciation, but in the meantime, deepest sympathies are extended to his family.

Update: appreciations from the Irish Times, Irish Independent.

Latest edition of Economic and Social Review now out

It is available at


Vol 47, No 1, Spring (2016)

Table of Contents


ÉIRE Mod: A DSGE Model for Ireland
Daragh Clancy, Rossana Merola   1-31

Revisions to Macroeconomic Data: Ireland and the OECD
Eddie Casey, Diarmaid Smyth   33-68

Wagner in Ireland: An Econometric Analysis
Stephen Moore   69-103

Spillover in Euro Area Sovereign Bond Markets – Corrigendum
Thomas Conefrey, David Cronin   105-107

Policy Section Articles

Taxes, Income and Economic Mobility in Ireland: New Evidence from Tax
Records Data
Seán Kennedy, Yosuke Jin, David Haugh, Patrick Lenain   109-153

Searching for the Inclusive Growth Tax Grail: The Distributional
Impact of Growth Enhancing Tax Reform in Ireland
Brendan O’Connor, Terence Hynes, David Haugh, Patrick Lenain   155-184

Latest edition of Economic and Social Review now available online

Here is the list of contents of the latest edition of the Economic and Social Review:

Vol 46, No 4, Winter (2015)

Table of Contents


The Demand for League of Ireland Football
Barry Reilly 485–509

The Relative Age Effect and Under-21 Irish Association Football: A
Natural Experiment and Policy Recommendations, David Butler, Robert
Butler  511–519

Housing Bubbles and Monetary Policy: A Reassessment
Graeme O’Meara 521–565

To Weight or Not To Weight? A Statistical Analysis of How Weights
Affect the Reliability of the Quarterly National Household Survey for
Immigration Research in Ireland
Nancy Duong Nguyen, Patrick Murphy 567–603

Book Review

EOIN O’LEARY, Irish Economic Development: High-Performing EU State or
Serial Underachiever. London: Routledge; 232 pages; March 2015
Frank Barry  605-611.

All papers can be accessed at

Angus Deaton wins 2015 Economics Nobel Prize

A very good choice in my opinion.  Though in some ways a pity it was not on a joint ticket with Tony Atkinson.

Here is link to his personal web page

Deaton has written extensively on consumer demand systems, taxation, health, welfare, poverty, well-being, econometric methodology, the list is very long.

There is a good discussion of his contributions at and

Note that Deaton is due to speak in Ireland soon, along with our own Cormac O Grada on the topic of “Modern Plagues: Lessons Learned from the Ebola Crisis”.

More details here

Geary Policy Peer Review Series

The Geary Institute at UCD has initiated a Policy Peer Review Series.  This involves members of the Geary Institute reviewing research/evaluation reports which have significant implications for public policy.  The authors of the evaluations/reports are then invited to reply to the review.  The first two such reviews (and responses) are on (a) an evaluation of the School Support System under DEIS and (b) an evaluation of  FAS training programmes where the participants exited in 2012.  The reviews and responses are available here:

Educational Reform and all that…

Educational reform and Junior Cert reform in particular has been getting a bit of coverage lately.  One observation which struck me was by Tom Collins, formerly Professor of Education at NUI Maynooth.  He mentioned anecdotal evidence claiming that primary school teachers could predict eventual secondary school educational outcomes from as early as six years of age.  Some recent work I did is consistent with this observation ( .  Using Growing Up in Ireland data, I  looked at the scores of nine year olds in the Drumcondra maths and reading tests.  Children were partitioned into four groups on the basis of their mothers’ education.  Rather than looking at gaps in average outcomes for each group, I looked at gaps for selected percentiles.  This is in the spirit of John Romer’s analysis of inequality of opportunity, whereby between-group gaps calculated at the same percentile are regarded as having to some degree controlled for “effort” and the gaps can be regarded as reflecting ex post inequality of opportunity.  At the limit the gaps are about one standard deviation and are pretty constant across percentiles.  I also perform quantile decompositions for pairwise gaps and find that in general about one third to  one half of the gap is accounted for by observable characteristics (including school, class-size and teacher characteristics) with most of this “explained” gap arising from income and the number of books in the house.  Unobserved factors and “returns” to observed factors thus account for more than half the gaps.

The paper provides evidence that gaps in educational outcomes, on the basis of parental education, kick in at remarkably early ages.  It is also consistent with the idea that returns to education apply across as well as within generations.  There is a good recent review of this area by my colleague Paul Devereux here