100 Years of T.K. Whitaker

Establishment of Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Photograph by Aengus McMahon

T.K. Whitaker, voted the Irishman of the 20th Century, is widely regarded as the architect of modern Ireland. A brilliant and dedicated public servant, his seminal 1958 blueprint for economic development transformed the Irish economy and set the course for an open Ireland to prosper in a globalised world. Dr Whitaker also played a pivotal role in the search for peace in Northern Ireland, and in the modernisation of Ireland’s public sector.

Today marks a very special occasion as we honour and pay tribute to 100 years of T.K. Whitaker. In today’s Irish Times, I write about why Whitaker’s work is as relevant as ever to today’s Ireland. And at the Whitaker Institute, leading academics speak about Whitaker’s legacy. And there is this great video from the Central Bank of Ireland celebrating 100 years of Whitaker. Breithlá Sona!

 

 

 

 

Irish Economic Association Annual Conference 2017 call for papers

The 31st Annual Irish Economic Association Conference will be held in the Institute of Banking in Dublin on Thursday May 4th and Friday May 5th, 2017.

Frank Walsh from the school of economics UCD is the local organiser

Conference email: ieaconference2017@gmail.com

The ESR guest lecture will be given by Professor Deirdre McCloskey (University of Illinois at Chicago) and the Edgeworth Lecture by Professor John Muellbauer (University of Oxford).

The Association invites submissions of papers to be considered for the conference programme. Papers may be on any area in Economics, Finance or Econometrics.

The deadline for submitted articles is the 7th of February 2017 and submissions can be made through https://iea2017.exordo.com

Please circulate the call for papers amongst your colleagues especially younger researchers who may not be on the mailing list.

http://www.iea.ie/

Human Resource Practices & Innovation

Academics and policy-makers agree that innovation is of critical importance for business productivity and growth, explaining the substantial body of research in this area. There is broad consensus that factors, such as R&D spend, firm age, firm size, sector, ownership and location, influence innovation performance, with many studies finding evidence of these relationships in Irish firms. Recently, with my colleague Frank Crowley, I have begun to investigate the influence of human resource practices on innovation performance.

A crucial element in firms’ strategic decision-making is the identification and effective harnessing of complementarities between different managerial activities, optimising resource use. Using Irish workplace data, we investigate if human resource practices can benefit innovation, particularly when applied together. These practices are not generally introduced for the purpose of improving innovation outcomes, but we find some evidence of ‘unintended consequences’ for innovation. Our primary findings are that bundles of HR practices relating to performance management and appraisal, knowledge sharing and involvement, and empowerment in decision making all are positively associated with innovation in manufacturing and service firms, and bundles of flexible employment contracts practices positively influence innovation in service firms. The full paper will be published in the International Journal of Innovation Management 

 

Senior Macroeconomist Posts

ESRI is looking to recruit 2 senior research economists in macroeconomics
The ESRI is seeking to expand its existing research capabilities in the following areas; housing, public finances and general macroeconomics. Accordingly, the Institute is looking to hire two senior research economists with proven track records in applied, econometric research in any or all of these areas. The appointments may be tenure track positions or on a secondment basis. The roles will involve contributing and leading research programmes in housing, public finances and general macroeconomics and the successful candidates will be expected to produce relevant high-quality research papers which can be published in both international peer-reviewed journals and domestically-oriented policy papers.
More information can be found here:
For any queries concerning the position, e-mail: kieran.mcquinn@esri.ie

Implications for Ireland of the new Trump Regime

There’s a lot of wrong-headed analysis doing the rounds on the implications of the proposals of the new US Administration for Ireland.  Will US companies “be enticed home” by a dramatic cut in the US corporate tax rate? Companies don’t primarily come to Europe for tax reasons. They come for market access. Ireland captures a disproportionate share of these inflows, to a large extent because our rate is low RELATIVE TO OTHER European rates. In fact, given the US tax-credit system, US MNCs in Europe would not be able to recoup upon repatriating their profits the difference between high European rates and a potential new low US rate; this would work in Ireland’s favour (to the disadvantage of high-rate European economies).

Lower rates outside the US encourage US MNCs to keep their profits offshore (though a huge proportion of these can actually be, and are, held in US bonds and banks). If fewer profits are held offshore this WILL reduce overseas RE-investments, as these are currently financed out of offshore profits.

A dramatic reduction in the US rate would reduce the inventive for re-domiciling, though, as John FitzGerald and Mary Everett (of the Central Bank) have both shown, re-domiciling into Ireland probably does us more harm than good. In any case large, rich, central (as opposed to peripheral) economies tend to have higher corporate tax rates for revenue-maximising reasons.

US protectionism would trigger retaliation which would in turn trigger vastly more tariff-jumping FDI into Europe and elsewhere. Nor would a retreat of US corporations to the US mean that their external sales would be replaced by US exports; a substantial proportion would be captured by foreign competitor companies. And a huge proportion of current US exports go as inputs to their own subsidiaries abroad. The US State Department would also not be happy with a reduction in US FDI: think of the “soft power” this overseas investment grants the US. So the proposed very low US rate is unlikely to be in America’s interests. This might well impact on the chances of getting the proposals through Congress, even if President-elect Trump decides to run with them.