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.

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 …

Getting our priorities right

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Remarks at the recent National Economic Dialogue held in Dublin (28-29 June) "On behalf of the Nevin Economic Research Institut, I would like to welcome this opportunity to debate the choices and priorities for Ireland as we, hopefully, head towards a period of economic and social recovery and development. I think we need to adjust our language away from a single-minded focus on ‘growth’, …

Keeping the vultures at bay

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The loss of a home and homelessness must be among the most stressful events in a person’s life.  The stories of evictions from cottages and land in the 19 th century still evoke feelings of intense shock and outrage. How could this have happened in a colony of a ‘civilised empire’?  Vast improvement in economic and social well-being have characterised Ireland in recent decades. A limited …

The Living Wage in the Republic of Ireland

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
I was recently talking with an economist from Austria about the Living Wage.  He did not readily understand the term as, in many European countries, the notion of a living wage gives way to one or both things: (1) collective bargaining which sets wages pretty much for all workers in all sectors, and (2) a statutory minimum wage coupled with relatively generous (relative, that is, to Ireland the …

Life is based on many assumptions (until they prove false)

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Economists are no more equipped than others to predict the future. That’s because economies are embedded in societies, institutions and human relationships. These work to confound the simplest assumptions and most refined of econometrical modelling.  While few could believe what was plainly emerging in British politics in recent times and is now very apparent following last week’s General …

Housing for homes - a classic case of market failure

Posted on June 02, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
‘What is the concept of market failure and give an example’ was once asked in a school examination of economics. Here is a tip if you are studying economics, yourself: take housing in Ireland as an example. It ticks lots of boxes: A chronic under-supply of housing at current cost, credit, demand and policy conditions. A chronic failure on the part of some policymakers and politicians to …

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