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A portfolio analysis of industrial structure

  • Frank Barry
  • Colm Kearney

Industrial sectors producing income-elastic products can grow rapidly but are highly vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy. Policymakers need to take into account this trade-off between output and employment growth over the longer term and volatility in the short to medium term. We bring the principles of portfolio theory to bear on the issue. Our analysis is applied to Irish manufacturing employment where growth has been concentrated in foreign-owned sectors such as Office and Data Processing Equipment, Pharmaceuticals and Professional Instruments. We show that, increased volatility notwithstanding, the country’s hightech FDI-driven strategy has brought the economy’s industrial portfolio closer to the mean-variance efficiency frontier.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200309.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200309
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  1. Holger G�rg & Eric Strobl, 2003. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 1-19, January.
  2. Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2002. "Multinational companies and indigenous development: An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1305-1322, July.
  3. Frank Barry, 2000. "Convergence is not Automatic: Lessons from Ireland for Central and Eastern Europe," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(10), pages 1379-1394, October.
  4. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  5. Goldberg, Michael A. & Levi, Maurice D., 2000. "The European Union as a country portfolio," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 411-427, September.
  6. Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Geographical and Sectoral Shocks in the U.S. Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Palley, Thomas I, 1992. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment: A Reconsideration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 117-33, January.
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