NERI Seminar Dublin: Productivity in Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland

13 December 2017

Topic: Productivity in Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland

Speakers: Paul Mac Flynn, Senior Economist, NERI & Paul Goldrick-Kelly, Economist, NERI

Date: 13th December, 2017

Time: Tea and coffee from 15:50. The seminar will commence at 16:00

Venue: INTO Learning Centre, 38 Parnell Square, Dublin 1


Productivity and the Northern Ireland Economy presented by Paul Mac Flynn, Senior Economist, NERI

Productivity in many western economies has been stagnant in the years following the 2008 financial crash. The UK has been among the worst performing economies and within it, Northern Ireland has been a consistent laggard. Many have attributed Northern Ireland’s comparatively weak productivity performance to differences in the industrial make-up of the region. However, headline sectoral figures do not bear this out. The productivity gap between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK lies within industries and sectors. This paper seeks to highlight the sectors and industries where Northern Ireland falls behind and to consider why they fall behind.
Manufacturing and Public Services are sectors where Northern Ireland performs well while Agriculture and most of the Services Sector drag overall productivity down. In many cases Northern Ireland’s firms lack the scale of their counterparts in Great Britain, but even adjusting for this many firms still fall behind. To compound the problem, in many cases activity is concentrated in areas where Northern Ireland has a productivity deficit and less concentrated in areas where it is more productive.
There are economy wide productivity issues relating to skills and physical capital investment where Northern Ireland has structural challenges to overcome. In addition to tackling sectoral issues, enterprise policy also need to focus on stimulating demand for skills among employers and employees while encouraging a culture of innovation among firms that lack the market incentive to do so.

Benchmarking Productivity in the Republic of Ireland presented by Paul Goldrick-Kelly, Economist, NERI

Productivity is a matter of utmost significance for society and for policy makers. Productivity is a key determinant of economic growth and high productivity is associated with higher living standards. This paper benchmarks sectoral productivity in the Republic of Ireland, measured as value added per person employed, relative a peer weighted average, reflecting comparably developed EU states.

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INTO Learning Centre, 38 Parnell Square, Dublin 1

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