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The Iberian Tigers versus The Celtic Tiger: Economic Growth Paths in an Economic History Perspective


  • Tiago Neves Sequeira

    (Departamento de Gestão e Economia - Universidade da Beira Interior & Faculdade de Economia - Universidade Nova de Lisboa)


The years following the Second World War were those of the greatest economic growth that Europe had ever seen. If the countries of the Iberian Peninsula, neutral in the conflict and ruled by dictatorial regimes, enjoyed that growth and had participated in the convergence phenomenon, Ireland, also neutral but democratic, was not able to converge to the developed world. Since 1973, with petroleum crashes, the process of growth has slowed down in Europe, but it was only after 1985 that Ireland began to grow at impressive rates. We review, in an economic history perspective, the implications of the institutional environment and the economic policy decisions. We also address the consequences and plausible explanations for the different growth paths of those countries and revisit the puzzle of slow Irish growth until middle eighties.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiago Neves Sequeira, 2003. "The Iberian Tigers versus The Celtic Tiger: Economic Growth Paths in an Economic History Perspective," Economic History 0309002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0309002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 30 ; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
    2. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    3. Walsh, Brendan, 1993. "The Contribution of Human Capital Formation to Post-War Economic Growth in Ireland," CEPR Discussion Papers 819, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
    5. de la Fuente, Angel & Vives, Xavier, 1997. "The Sources of Irish Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. de la Fuente, A., 1995. "Catch-up, Growth and Convergence in the OECD," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 314.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    7. Feinstein, Charles H. & Temin, Peter & Toniolo, Gianni, 1997. "The European Economy Between the Wars," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774815.
    8. Gianni Toniolo, 1998. "Europe’s Golden Age, 1950-1973: Speculations from a Long-run Perspective," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(2), pages 252-267, May.
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    More about this item


    Second World War; Economic Growth; Convergence; Europe; Ireland; Portugal; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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