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Brexit: Round 1

Posted on December 08, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Progress was made last week in relation to the preparation for Brexit and, in particular, the unique and special circumstances of Northern Ireland.  A careful and considered reading of “Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom's orderly withdrawal from the …

Brexit and Ireland: an unholy trinity of options

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
As the heat rises in the run-up to Christmas on the Brexit front we are looking into the barrel of The Great British-Irish Trilemma.  There are no safe places to hide here and no amount of palaver and fudge will duck the key issue.  Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney puts it succinctly and accurately like this: The Government in London has repeatedly outlined three ambitions which …

O happy days?

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Many (most?) listeners of an early morning news might be forgiven, last week, for wanting to climb under the blankets when they might have thought they heard: ‘house prices could rise by over 20% in the next three years in the Republic of Ireland - but don’t worry, housing remains and will remain affordable – on average’.  As luck had it, the same morning featured the latest data on …

Will life be better or worse for this generation?

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A simple question but a hard one to answer. First, how do we measure notions of ‘better’, ‘worse’, ‘good’ … ? Second, which countries, generations and points in time do we compare? Third, how do we know what the future will hold for anyone or most people? However, just because it is a hard question should not deter us from considering various aspects of it. the fact that the …

Interest Rates: Don't move too soon

Posted on November 01, 2017 by Paul Mac Flynn

Interest rates have been making the headlines in recent weeks, as speculation mounts about a possible change in policy this Thursday. In the UK the Bank of England base rate has been at an all-time low for almost 10 years. Monetary policy has been very loose since the Great Financial Crash of 2008, not only in the UK but around the world. Low interest rates were also supplemented by a process of …

Posted in: Northern Ireland Wages

Halloween, plastic-eating chicks and the circular economy

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
“By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, entangling sea creatures and trapping them, mimicking their food, and releasing toxins that poison them: marine turtles feed on plastic bags because they float in the ocean like jellyfish. Alabtrosses, those vast ocean-going birds, are bringing belly-fulls of plastic instead of squid back to their nests to feed their chicks. The …

Slides from NERI Post Budget Seminar - 18 October, 2017

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Louisa O'Brien

NERI Post Budget Seminar - 18 October, 2017
Slides from NERI Post Budget Seminar held in the INTO Learning Centre on 18th October.  The three speakers each made a brief presentation responding to aspects of Budget 2018.  The presentations were delivered by Marie Sherlock (SIPTU), Michelle Murphy (Social Justice Ireland) and John FitzGerald (formally of ESRI). Above presentation by Marie Sherlock (SIPTU) Above presentation by Michelle …

Ophelia, Kondratiev and Monday Mornings

Posted on October 20, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Last Monday morning, I looked out the window and it was calm and sunny in the part of Ireland where I was. ‘What storm’? I mumbled.  A few hours later made all the difference. Economists are very good at explaining what happened. Lots of econometrics and fitted regression lines work wonders. We are less good at predicting what is going to happen and when. Weather forecasters can make good …

Much ado about little

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The draft budget for 2018 to be yet approved by the European Commission has arrived. Still, some working out of detail in the Finance Act and various other legal measures remains.  The build-up, the leaks, the drama, the instant analysis, the soundbites and the slowly emerging aftermath is part of the annual cycle of media news and lobbying by various interest groups.  Thankfully, recent years …

What use is economics?

Posted on October 06, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
‘Economics’ is often viewed as a ‘positive science’ that examines choices in a world of constrained resources.  One only has so much time or money or capital (including human).  There are so many choices and needs.  The ‘science’ of economics, it is claimed, involves optimising outcomes or well-being by making the most efficient use and allocation of resources.  The notion of …

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