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:  http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9780415645126/

CSO Quarterly National Accounts Q1 2010

The CSO released the latest Quarterly National Accounts covering the first quarter of 2010. While seasonally adjusted GDP is up by 2.7% on the previous quarter, GNP is down by 0.5% (net factor outflows were up 11%on the previous quarter) . Compared to the same quarter in 2009 GDP was down by 0.7% and GNP was 4.2% lower. Exports are up compared both to the previous quarter and the same quarter a year ago. Building and construction has continued to contract significantly (-16.3%) while other industry has done very well (+11.6% for Industry including Building and Construction).

2009 GNP: -11.3%; 2009 GDP: -7.1%; 2009 CA/GDP: -2.8%

More releases from the CSO:

The latest national accounts release shows the scale of the contraction in 2009, with national income falling far more than the decline in production (the foreign-owned firms doing better than domestic firms).

The BOP release shows that the current account deficit has narrowed to 2.8% of GDP.