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Irish Economic Development over Three Decades of EU Membership


  • Frank Berry


This paper draws out lessons from Ireland´s economic experience over the course of EU membership. The author starts with a description of the effects of opening up to free trade, and highlights the problems of the 1970s and 1980s that arose as a consequence of misguided fiscal policy. He then turns to the beneficial developments that paved the way to the emergence of the Celtic Tiger economy. EU aid alone, he argues, cannot guarantee convergence. It is likely to be of greatest benefit when the other conditions for real convergence including a well-functioning labour market, reform-oriented microeconomic policy and macroeconomic stability ? are also in place. For countries attempting to follow the Irish strategy of attracting inward FDI in high-tech manufacturing sectors, the author emphasises that low corporation-tax rates are only one part of the story. A supportive public administration system and an abundance of human capital of the appropriate type are also key requirements.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Berry, 2003. "Irish Economic Development over Three Decades of EU Membership," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 53(9-10), pages 394-412, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:53:y:2003:i:9-10:p:394-412

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandrine Levasseur, 2006. "Convergence and FDI in an enlarged EU: what can we learn from the experience of cohesion countries for the CEECS?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2006-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

    More about this item


    Ireland; economic development; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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