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Fiscal Space: A Short Primer

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Tom McDonnell

Government Buildings
The parameters for Budget 2017 are set by the requirements of the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The preventive arm is assessed under two main pillars. These are the Structural Balance Rule and the Expenditure Benchmark Rule. A balanced budget in structural terms is a balanced budget after adjusting for the cyclical position of the economy and is calculated net of once-off …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

That time of year again

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
It is that time of year again. Like in the neighbouring island we drive on the left hand side of the road (as a general rule) and have an Annual Big Day (known as Budget Day) when the Minister for Finance announces the budget for the coming year. There is a lead in of many months of discussion in which various groups make ‘submissions’ on what should be prioritised by way of spending or …

What fiscal space?

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In many respects the debate about ‘fiscal space’ is a major turn off for most people as it employs language, terms and concepts that are mechanical, contrived and highly dependent on questionable assumptions. Most policy makers tend to leave the technical details to specialist staff while they get on with the bigger picture on the economy and public finances. The main role of ‘fiscal …

The lost decade of wages

Posted on June 02, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Wages is not an easy topic to consider on the first day of the week which happens to be a public holiday and a mixed one weather wise at that in the Republic of Ireland. Wages form the biggest share of household income for most households. Following years of wage freezes or cuts the economy is in a strong recovery mode now. Yet, as pointed out in previous blogs on this site wage recovery is …

Papers from the 4th Annual NERI Labour Market Conference - May 2016

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Louisa Gavin

University of Limerick
  4th Annual NERI Labour Market Conference University of Limerick - May, 2016 Papers      Productivity, Innovation and the Future Labour Market  Dr Tom McDonnell, NERIProductivity, innovation and long-run growth Professor Jim Deegan, ULArtificial intelligence and robotics: some issues for the future labour market Kevin O’Kelly, ETUIMillennials and the 21st century labour market Gender and …

Posted in: GenderLabour costs

What role should research organisations play today in Ireland?

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
On this island we are blessed with an abundance of research organisations and research knowledge coupled with unprecedented access to data sources that we could only have dreamt of a generation ago. Investment in official statistical infrastructure (much of which was prompted by statistical reporting requirements in the European Union) has helped open up new sources of information crossing …

Professionalising Economics

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Micheál Collins

A new initiative from the Irish Economics Association (IEA), the umbrella body for professional research economists in Ireland, is worthy of note. The IEA has set out a series of ‘guiding principles’ for its members. In essence these set out how professional economists should be operating. The principles cover areas including research work and collaboration, empirical analysis, peer review, …

Some questions about the Programme of (new) Government

Posted on May 22, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The recent Programme of Government has set the scene for policy priorities for the coming three years. Clearly, much will depend on international events as well as developments closer to home in shaping the success of economic policy.  The Programme is long on aspiration and light on detail – as inevitably most long-term plans are. However, it is clear that in so far as public expenditure is …

New Paper Models a Minimum Wage Increase

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - modelling_lowpay_increase_neri_wp36
The establishment of a Low Pay Commission in the Republic of Ireland and the renewed focus on low pay and a ‘living wage’ both in Ireland and the UK has revived a growing interest in policies that focus on providing adequate minimum levels of pay for all employees. A new NERI research paper from Niamh Holton and Micheál Collins models the impact of an increase in the minimum wage to a level …

Posted in: GenderInequalityJobsLabour costsWages

Do we overspend on health?

Posted on May 14, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Ministerial responsibility for health services in the Republic of Ireland has been compared to a stay in some African country. For all its woes and failings the National Health Service (NHS) seems to be a badge of national pride in the UK even 60 years after its establishment. What is it about the Irish health service and its management that attracts so much opprobrium? Everyone wants an …

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