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Policy Lessons from Ireland’s Latest Depression

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  • Karl Whelan

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

This paper provides a selective review of Ireland’s economic performance of the last 20 years, from the early days of the Celtic Tiger, through to the housing boom and the recent slump, and then attempts to draw a few lessons from the period. The paper argues, based on a range of observations, that a substantial slowdown was looming for Ireland by 2007, independent of what was going to happen in the global economy, and much of this evidence was ignored in the implementation of economic policy. The result was a range of policies based on an unwarranted over-optimism which left Ireland terribly exposed to the international downturn. Policy failures in the fiscal and banking sectors are discussed, as well as some common criticisms of policy that have less justification.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 225-254

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:41:y:2010:i:2:p:225-254

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  1. McQuinn, Kieran & O'Reilly, Gerard, 2006. "Assessing the Role of Income and Interest Rates in Determining House Prices," Research Technical Papers 15/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  2. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2008. "Benchmarking, Social Partnership and Higher Remuneration: Wage Settling Institutions and the Public-Private Sector Wage Gap in Ireland," Papers WP270, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Honohan, Patrick, 2009. "Resolving Ireland’s Banking Crisis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 207–231.
  4. Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," Center for Development Economics 2008-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. McQuinn, Kieran & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Prospects for Growth in the Euro Area," Research Technical Papers 12/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  6. R. A. Somerville, 2007. "Housing Tenure in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 107-134.
  7. Cussen, Mary & Kelly, John & Phelan, Gillian, 2008. "The Impact of Asset Price Trends on Irish Households," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 70-84, July.
  8. McCarthy, Yvonne & McQuinn, Kieran, 2010. "How are Irish households coping with their mortgage repayments? Information from the SILC Survey," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/10, Central Bank of Ireland.
  9. Patrick Honohan & Brendan Walsh, 2002. "Catching Up with the Leaders: The Irish Hare," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 1-78.
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Cited by:
  1. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Luis Garicano & Tano Santos, 2013. "Political Credit Cycles: The Case of the Eurozone," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 145-66, Summer.
  2. Constantin Gurdgiev & Brian M. Lucey & Ciarán Mac an Bhaird & Lorcan Roche-Kelly, 2011. "The Irish Economy: Three Strikes and You’re Out?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 19-41, March.
  3. Lunn, Pete, 2011. "The Role of Decision-Making Biases in Ireland's Banking Crisis," Papers WP389, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  4. Seán Ó Riain, 2012. "The Crisis of Financialisation in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(4), pages 497-533.
  5. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maítre, 2013. "The Great Recession and the Changing Distribution of Economic Vulnerability by Social Class: The Irish Case," Working Papers 201312, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. Nyamdash, Batsaikhan & Denny, Eleanor, 2011. "The economic impact of electricity conservation policies: A case study of Ireland," MPRA Paper 28384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Mladen Čudanov & Ondrej Jaško & Gheorghe Săvoiu, 2012. "Public and Public Utility Enterprises Restructuring: Statistical and Quantitative Aid for Ensuring Human Resource Sustainability," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(32), pages 307-322, June.

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