New Book on Irish Economic Development

UCC’s Eoin O’Leary has just published his monograph “Irish Economic Development: High-Performing EU State or Serial Under-achiever?” From the publisher’s site:

This book offers a discerning narrative on the spectacular rise and fall of the so-called Celtic Tiger economy. It depicts Ireland as a micro-state with a unique reliance on foreign-assisted businesses, driven in part by a favourable taxation regime. It shows that rent-seeking by trades unions and property developers contributed to the fall since 2002. Although the country’s highly centralized government’s pre-disposition to lobbying has yielded international successes, it has also resulted in recurring self-inflicted crises since 1970.

This volume shows how Ireland’s export-led growth is associated more with the attraction of foreign-assisted businesses than with the development of critical masses of internationally competitive indigenous businesses. Although the success of foreign-assisted businesses in the pharmaceutical, ICT and finance sectors has been influenced by tax advantages, many of these businesses have been involved in highly productive activity in Ireland over a number of decades. The problem of rent-seeking is shown to have undermined Irish competitiveness in the internationally traded and sheltered sectors. The Irish policy mind-set is shown to lean towards distribution rather than growth. While this has been advantageous for how ‘Ireland Inc.’ interacts with other governments and international businesses, it has also resulted in a failure to resist the destructive effects of capture by lobbies.

In conclusion, this book considers future opportunities offered by the EU’s smart-specialization policy and future threats from increased international tax competition. It argues that unless Irish citizens and policymakers change deep-seated attitudes and mind-sets towards business development, the country’s performance for the next number of decades will more likely resemble serial under-achievement than that of a high-performing EU state.

Details are here:

From prosperity to austerity – book launch

Later this month sees the launch of “From Prosperity to Austerity: A socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its Aftermath”, a book on the Irish economy and society edited by Eamon Maher (IT Tallaght) and Eugene O’Brien and published by Manchester University Press.

The launch take places 6pm, Thursday September 25 in Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street. Brian Lucey (TCD) will giving an address at the launch – and if that weren’t incentive enough to head along, there will also be refreshments!

Next Generation Ireland

Am a bit late to this, but better late than never. Ronan Lyons, who has indirectly contributed a lot of material to this blog, and Ed Burke are co-editors of a new book called Next Generation Ireland. The book includes contributions from Ronan Lyons and Ed Burke themselves who give an introductory essay. Ronan also provides a chapter on improving the public sector and a co-authored chapter with Stephen Kinsella on improving fiscal policy in terms of both levels and composition. Eoin O’Malley takes on the issue of political and governmental reform. Michael Courtney has a chapter on identity, migration and citizenship. Michael King offers a chapter on improving competitiveness. Joseph Curtin has a chapter on environmental issues. Aoibhin de Burca has a chapter on North-South and Ireland-UK relations. Neil Sands and Nicola White provide an essay on the global extent of Irish identity and the importance of thinking along these dimensions. Co-editor Ed Burke’s final chapter is on Irish foreign policy.

Please feel free to use this post to debate aspects of the book if you have read it. Might also be worth debating what qualities the next generation of people who influence policy and business in Ireland should possess.