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Policy Lessons from Ireland’s Latest Depression

  • Karl Whelan

    (University College Dublin)

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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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol41_2/05-Whelan.pdf
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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. Gerard Caprio, Jr. and Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp242, IIIS.
  2. Honohan, Patrick, 2009. "Resolving Ireland’s Banking Crisis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 207–231.
  3. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/1596 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. R. A. Somerville, 2007. "Housing Tenure in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 107-134.
  5. Mcquinn, Kieran & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Prospects for Growth in the Euro Area," MPRA Paper 5893, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
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