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Policy Lessons from Ireland’s Latest Depression

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  • Karl Whelan

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

In this paper, I provide 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 attempt to draw a few lessons from the period. I argue, 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 are are discussed, as well as some common criticisms of policy that have less justification.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/wp09.14.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200914.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200914

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Keywords: Celtic Tiger; Boom and Slump; Lessons from the period;

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References

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  1. Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," Center for Development Economics 2008-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  2. McQuinn, Kieran & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Prospects for Growth in the Euro Area," Research Technical Papers 12/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Honohan, Patrick, 2009. "Resolving Ireland’s Banking Crisis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 207–231.
  9. R. A. Somerville, 2007. "Housing Tenure in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 107-134.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Luis Garicano & Tano Santos, 2013. "Political Credit Cycles: The Case of the Euro Zone," NBER Working Papers 18899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Lunn, Pete, 2011. "The Role of Decision-Making Biases in Ireland's Banking Crisis," Papers WP389, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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