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.

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 …

Wages, Productivity and inflation

Posted on May 08, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Wages are rising again for most workers in most sectors of the economy. The increases are moderate and in many cases the settlements made stretch out over a number of years and are, typically, related to ‘productivity’ measures.  Growth in wages and in productivity is good news all round. Yet, the pace of change and the distribution of change by sector and occupation has wider implications …

What sort of Europe do we want?

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
To brexit or not to brexit is a question for the people of the UK next month. There is, however, an even more fundamental question for all Europeans: what sort of Europe do we want and how do we attain it? Inevitably, the short-term questions and concerns regarding trade, investment, employment, migration and regulation of economic activity will drive the debate around Brexit and these matters …

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Posted on April 23, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
 ‘Neither a borrower or a lender be’ so said Polonius in The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare. However, economies in modern times don’t work this way and neither did medieval societies notwithstanding the moral strictures placed on usury.  The fact is that income does not match spending on a day-to-day or year-to-year basis.  Lending and borrowing are based on …

Female participation in the Irish labour market remains below EU levels

Posted on April 17, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The level and quality of employment together with the distribution of skills is central to productivity.  Full employment is possible provided that public policy is directed to this as an overriding priority. When some economists speak of a ‘natural rate of unemployment’ they betray an underlying prejudice – not based on historical evidence – that a particular rate of unemployment is …

Wage inequality on the rise

Posted on April 08, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Although inequality of income has taken up a lot of analytical space for many years much less attention has been given to trends in wage inequality. Last week I focussed on the share of labour in total income in the Republic of Ireland. This week I look at trends in wage inequality.  Two facts stand out: wage inequality in the Republic of Ireland is among the highest in the OECD world (Chart 1) …

A worrying trend in wages

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
I bet you are perplexed by the title. Read on.  Since the 1980s wages have declined sharply as a proportion of total income in the Republic of Ireland. While total income or production (GDP, GNI or GVA as you wish) has grown dramatically since the early 1990s the share of wages in the total cake as declined. The Republic of Ireland is not unique by any means. In other major economies – notably …

Easter Musings

Posted on March 24, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In the course of a decade and a year of commemorations there has been much discussion and consideration about the past.  Difficult issues and questions are negotiated and depending on which tradition one tends to associate with, particular emphasis will be placed on certain events or certain interpretations.  Learning from the past is important and not to be avoided.  Looking to the future has …

Women in the workforce, low pay and the cost of early childhood care and education.

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Inequality of pay between women and men is a well documented statistical fact. But, what is the relationship between this gender gap and low pay?  How is early childhood care relevant? And what are the implications for public policy and trade unions?  This Blog looks at these questions in the Republic of Ireland against a background of three important documents that entered the public domain …

Thinking aloud about Brexit

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
2016 will be dominated, among other things, by the British question.  The word ‘Brexit’ has been added to the English language.  As everyone knows by now it would mean the UK (and that includes Northern Ireland) leaving the European Union following a referendum later this year.  Historically, the island of Britain has always displayed a singular approach in international affairs possibly …

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