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Policy Lessons from Ireland’s Latest Depression

  • Karl Whelan

    (University College Dublin)

In this paper, I provide 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 attempt to draw a few lessons from the period. I argue, 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 are are discussed, as well as some common criticisms of policy that have less justification.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/wp09.14.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200914.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200914
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. 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.
  2. Kelly, Eilish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip, 2009. "Benchmarking, Social Partnership and Higher Remuneration: Wage Settling Institutions and the Public-Private Sector Wage Gap in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(3), pages 339–370.
  3. Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. McQuinn, Kieran & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Prospects for Growth in the Euro Area," Research Technical Papers 12/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  5. Honohan, Patrick, 2009. "Resolving Ireland’s Banking Crisis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 207–231.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. R. A. Somerville, 2007. "Housing Tenure in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 107-134.
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