New Vacancy: Lectureship in Economics in NUIG

J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland Galway

Lecturer (Above the Bar) in Economics

Applications are invited for a permanent lectureship post, which will be located within the Discipline of Economics of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at the National University of Ireland Galway. The Discipline seeks to provide a flourishing and diverse academic environment which integrates teaching and research, theory and empirical applications, in a policy-oriented and interdisciplinary way. The successful candidate will contribute to teaching, supervision, and examining at all levels, engage in scholarship and research, and contribute to the administration of the Discipline, the School and the College.

Candidates should hold a PhD in Economics, have demonstrated ability in teaching and capacity for supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and have a research profile commensurate with the position. The successful candidate will contribute to relevant teaching and examining at all levels, including the B.A., B.Comm. and B.Sc. degrees at undergraduate level and the various M.Econ.Sc. programs at postgraduate level; engage in scholarship and research; and assist with administration and the development of the Economics Discipline and J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 17:00 (Irish Time) on Thursday 15th April 2021. 

For more information and Application Form please see website:  http://www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/jobs/.

Professor Rachel Dardis, RIP

Rachel Dardis, Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland died February 23, 2021. An obituary is here. Prof. Dardis was a prolific author and mentored more than 60 PhD students during her career. She spent her academic career in the USA, starting in the 1960s with her University of Minnesota PhD. She retired in 1996 and is survived by her nephew and his two children.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.

The Role of the Leaving Certificate Examinations

The Leaving Certificate Exams have three main roles: sorting, incentivizing, and signalling. The exams serve to sort students into third-level courses where the students will perform well and contribute to the performance of their peers; they incentivize secondary school students to study hard and learn, and the examination process allows students to signal their academic abilities and their work discipline by doing well on them.

The pandemic shutdown has created learning and emotional challenges for sixth-year students, and also worsened the “digital divide” between students with supportive home environments and expensive computer technology and those without. An accommodation needs to be made for students who have not coped well in this very challenging environment. It is also sensible, where possible, to reduce the size of examination hall numbers. At the same time, cancelling the examinations entirely and replacing them with very noisy and low-information estimated grades seems an inferior plan.

The government, teacher’s unions, and Department of Education officials need to quickly step up and show courage and wisdom in implementing a solution that is not a muddle-through compromise designed only to appease political pressures. The cabinet including its senior members need to oversee and back whatever solution is quickly chosen and implemented. One obvious possibility would be a rigidly-capped estimated grades option (perhaps capped at H5-O1), together with an exam option for those students who feel that they can exceed the H5-O1 level, or exceed the estimated grade (below H5-O1) that they expect to receive.

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 Recruitment@oireachtas.ie 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 www.oireachtas.ie/pbo.