From Tiger to PIIGS: Ireland and the use of heuristics in comparative political economy
Acronyms for groups of countries provide an often useful shorthand to capture emergent similarities, and terms such as PIIGS, BRICs and LDCs pervade the lexicon of international and comparative political economy. But they can also lead to misleading narratives, since the grounds for use of these terms as heuristic devices are usually not well elaborated. This can become problematic when the use of such heuristics drives market responses in areas such as risk perception and changes in interest rates. In this paper we look at the narrative construction of the group of countries that has been grouped as ‘PIIGS’ (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). We examine the process whereby the group came into being, trace how Ireland became a member of this grouping, and assess the merits of classifying these countries together. Our contention is that the repetition of the acronym in public debate shaped the behaviour of market actors toward these countries. We find evidence of Granger causality, such that increased media usage of the term ‘PIIGS’ is followed by converging interest rate correlations between Ireland and the other PIIGS, compared to the interest rate correlations between Ireland and the ‘northern’ Eurozone economies. We argue that this is a pointer toward the independent effect of perceptions and discourse over economic fundamentals. We conclude with more general thoughts and cautions on the use of heuristics in comparative political economy.
|Date of creation:||01 Oct 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +353 1 7164615
Fax: +353 1 7161108
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hommes, Cars, 2011.
"The heterogeneous expectations hypothesis: Some evidence from the lab,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-24, January.
- Hommes, C.H., 2010. "The Heterogeneous Expectations Hypothesis: Some Evidence from the Lab," CeNDEF Working Papers 10-06, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
- Mark Mason, 1994. "Elements of Consensus: Europe's Response to the Japanese Automotive Challenge," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 433-453, December.
- Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2010.
"Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt,"
Review of Finance,
European Finance Association, vol. 14(2), pages 235-262.
- Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2007. "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 114, Money Macro and Finance Research Group, revised 24 Apr 2007.
- Pu, Xiaoling & Zhang, Jianing, 2012. "Can dual-currency sovereign CDS predict exchange rate returns?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 157-166.
- Jan Tuinstra & Joep Sonnemans & Cars Hommes & Peter Heemeijer, 2006.
"Price Stability and Volatility in Markets with Positive and Negative Expectations Feedback: An Experimental Investigation,"
wp06-18, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
- Heemeijer, Peter & Hommes, Cars & Sonnemans, Joep & Tuinstra, Jan, 2009. "Price stability and volatility in markets with positive and negative expectations feedback: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1052-1072, May.
- Heemeijer, P. & Hommes, C.H. & Sonnemans, J. & Tuinstra, J., 2006. "Price Stability and Volatility in Markets with Positive and Negative Expectations Feedback: An Experimental Investigation," CeNDEF Working Papers 06-05, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
- Fratianni, M., 1998. "Maxi vs Mini EMU: The Political Economy of Stage III," Papers 98-003, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
- Stracca, Livio, 2004. "Behavioral finance and asset prices: Where do we stand?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-405, June.
- George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
- John Ryan, 2009. "United Kingdom Euro Scenarios Assessed," Working Papers 2009_09, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
- Hoelscher, Gregory, 1986. "New Evidence on Deficits and Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201316. 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: (Geary Tech)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.