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.

Labour Market research on the island of Ireland

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The fifth all-Ireland inter-disciplinary annual Labour Market conference took place in NUI Maynooth on 12th May. The biggest such conference yet, it drew participation from trade unionists, researchers and policy analysts from across the island. An overview of the 32 presentations at the conference is now available here. The theme of precarious work was very much to the fore of the conference …

Are levels of social welfare payment the problem or is it something else?

Posted on May 13, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
‘Why don’t they get a job?’  “Isn’t social welfare making people chose ‘leisure’ over ‘work’?” ‘Aren’t social payments in Ireland way above those in the UK and elsewhere?. Only a particular perspective and frame of mind among economists, politicians or commentators trigger these sorts of questions. The mentality is by no means confined to those who enjoy a comfortable …

The “Land of Ireland for the People of Ireland?”

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
First, there was a bonanza for land-owners in or near cities in the 1960s. Then there was the Kenny Report in 1973 (Kenny was a High Court judge who recommended pegging development land prices at 25% above agricultural land value – the recommendation has been ignored ever since). After that nothing much changed except that land prices went up and up.  After a property bubble there came, …

Are ‘Public Private Partnerships’ the only way to boost capital spending on infrastructure?

Posted on April 21, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) were much in vogue across Europe for many years especially prior to the Great Recession of 2008-2012. The essential idea behind PPPs is that the State commissions a private company to undertake some or all of the following: part-fund, design, build, operate and maintain a facility (it could be a motorway, a school, a hospital, a social housing scheme, etc).  …

Rebooting and rethinking manufacturing

Posted on April 08, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Time was when a patch sown on to the elbow was not a fashion statement but a timely and thrifty measure to prolong the use of a jacket or jumper. ‘Circular economy’ might be set to become the new buzzword but it is not a new idea.  The discipline of economics (I much prefer the more honest descriptor ‘political economy’) is about choice, finite resources, needs –  and values.  We …

A bridge to a new deal

Posted on March 25, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Last week, the NERI published its 21st edition of the NERI Quarterly Economic Observer. Since its first edition and foundation as a trade union associated Institute this day five years ago, the 27th March 2012, (QEO Spring 2012) we have continued to make the case for an enhanced programme of investment in economic and social infrastructure. Following a welcome recovery in economic activity and in …

Are women workers in the public sector paid too much?

Posted on March 19, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Yes, you read that question correctly. I will seek an answer to this question at the end of this blog.  But for now, judging by the standard reaction to data on earnings when published by the Central Statistics Office, many commentators are very set on the idea that public sector workers are paid far more than their counterparts in the private sector. This is the only story we get to hear …

Imagining Ireland in 2037

Posted on March 12, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
What will Ireland look like on Friday 13th March 2037?  Nothing like what we thought it might look like today, Monday 13th March 1997. Smartphones, the Celtic Tiger, Depression, Recovery, Trump, Brexit, gay marriage, talk of a united Ireland, an Oscars mix-up, etc. Rather, then speculate on the next twenty years, we ought to focus on what we can and should do now to make a different Ireland …

Women draw the short straw on wages

Posted on March 03, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Discussion of low pay ebbs and flows. As pointed out on this Blog over the last two years, macro trends in wages are not a major topic of conversation or public debate. Every so often, the Central Statistics Office publishes new data or updates previous data on earnings. If the matter merits any public attention or commentary it is not infrequently directed to the gap (or ‘premium’) between …

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Housing statistics - some challenges

Posted on February 18, 2017 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A famous 19th century Irish mathematician and engineer, Lord Kelvin, famously once said: “ I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have …

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