Posts from "Tom Healy"

Tom Healy

Tom Healy is Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). Tom has previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the National Economic and Social Forum and the Department of Education and Skills.

He holds a PhD (economics and sociology) from UCD. His research interests have included the impact of education and social capital on well-being, social vision and economic strategy for the island of Ireland, Education, Housing and Health.

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 …

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 …

Needed: A Budget for the many and not just the few

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Much progress has been made in regards to the state of Irish public finances, due in large part, to the recovery in economic activity in recent times. Taxes are flowing under many headings as unemployment continues to inch downwards and there is a broad-based recovery. Yet, many people are scarcely feeling a positive bounce in their discretionary spend. Though wages have been on the rise for most …

Notes on the margins of the Dublin Economics Workshop

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of the Dublin Economics Workshop.  The annual event – usually held in the Autumn – is a significant one as it attracts a considerable number of professional economists: academic, sectoral, financial, civil service and freelance. The event is, also, open to others and the conference is typically well covered in the Irish media.  In recent years, the …

How fast is the economy really growing and does it matter for fiscal space?

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
It all depends.  The last annual set of national accounts were published in July by the CSO. As expected, these show a significant divergence between GDP and what the CSO now term GNI*.  GNI* excludes globalisation effects that are disproportionately impacting the measurement of the size of the Irish economy.  The CSO reported GDP at €276 billion in 2016 while GNI* came to €189 billion.  …

As the housing emergency worsens it is still time for a game changer

Posted on September 09, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Six months ago the NERI published a working paper entitled: Ireland’s Housing Emergency: Time for a game changer. Regrettably, but not surprisingly, the depth and scale of the housing emergency has increased over the summer months. While much publicity has focussed on homelessness (as measured by families in temporary accommodation) another crisis is developing in relation to affordability for …

Exploring the outer regions of hidden fiscal space

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The 2017 Summer Economic Statement appeared last week.  The Statement follows a seasonal pattern along with the Spring Economic Statement and, ultimately, Budget 2018 due to be presented to the Dáil in October and approved by the European Commission on behalf of the EU28. The debate, such as it is, in the run up to Budget 2018 in Ireland follows familiar patterns each year: Some commentators …

Reclaiming the debate on enterprise

Posted on July 07, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The key to a flourishing society is an economy that works for all people and not just the few.  And the key to an economy that works for all is democracy in the workplace and in the political institutions that govern the market. [This is the text of a speech I gave at the 2017 Biennial Delegate Conference of the ICTU on 5th July 2017.) Too often, we see whole communities, families and workers …

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