IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eso/journl/v46y2015i3p429-458.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Wages and Ireland’s International Competitiveness

Author

Listed:
  • Rory O'Farrell

    (OECD, Paris, France)

Abstract

At the beginning of the crisis in 2008 it was a widely reported view that Ireland had become uncompetitive, leading to calls for wage cuts. Since then wage rates in the private sector have been largely stable. However, Ireland has shown a strong improvement in exports despite a difficult international trading situation. This presents a puzzle. If wages in Ireland were uncompetitive, how could Ireland improve its export position so rapidly, without a general fall in wages? Ireland can best be described as having moved from a position of “super-competitiveness” to “competitiveness”. During the construction boom, exports remained an important driver of growth. Since 2008, the fall in nominal unit labour costs is entirely due to a move away from the labour intensive construction sector. However, while labour costs have been stagnant in Ireland, they have increased amongst our trading partners.

Suggested Citation

  • Rory O'Farrell, 2015. "Wages and Ireland’s International Competitiveness," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 429-458.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:46:y:2015:i:3:p:429-458
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/article/download/401/117/401-1073-1-PB.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luc Everaert & Céline Allard, 2010. "Lifting Euro Area Growth; Priorities for Structural Reforms and Governance," IMF Staff Position Notes 10/09, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2013. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 251, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. Casey, Eddie, 2012. "Unit Labour Costs in Irish Manufacturing," Research Notes RN2012/2/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Bergin, Adele & Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2012. "Explaining Changes in Earnings and Labour Costs During the Recession," Papers EC9, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "Why Firms Avoid Cutting Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 862-888, August.
    6. FitzGerald, John, 2013. "The Effect on Major National Accounting Aggregates of the Ending of Pharmaceutical Patents," Research Notes RN2013/2/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Zsolt Darvas, 2012. "Compositional effects on productivity, labour cost and export adjustments," Policy Contributions 730, Bruegel.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Niamh Hardiman & Spyros Blavoukos & Sebastian Dellepiane-Avellaneda & George Pagoulatos, 2016. "Austerity in the European periphery: the Irish experience," Working Papers 201604, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wages; competitiveness; Ireland;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:46:y:2015:i:3:p:429-458. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martina Lawless). General contact details of provider: http://www.esr.ie .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.