NERI Seminar Belfast: Rebalancing and Regional Economic Performances: Northern Ireland in a Nordic Mirror

15 November 2018, 3:30pm - 4:45pm

Topic:  Rebalancing and Regional Economic Performances: Northern Ireland in a Nordic Mirror

Speaker:  Dr Graham Brownlow (Queen's University Belfast) & Dr Esmond Birnie (Ulster University)

Date:  15th November, 2018

Time:  15:45 (Tea and Coffee from 15:30.  Seminar ends 16:45)

Venue: INTO, 23-24 College Gardens, Belfast, BT9 6BS


This presentation is an update of an article in the Journal of Economic Affairs in early 2018 which considered the argument, advanced by (amongst) others the then Economy Minister in 2013 that so-called Nordic economies (e.g. Finland and Denmark) could be a model for the NI economy- competitive notwithstanding a large public sector.

 We argue there is no simple association (either positive or negative) between size of public sector and economic performance. There is a convincing economic argument (e.g. from Hayek) that it is not the size of the public sector which matters but the type of intervention. In this seminar we provide an updated version of our arguments.

 The presentation also provides a critical analysis of the "comparative approach" in NI economic policy making from Isles and Cuthbert in the early 1950s (comparisons mainly to GB) through to Department for the Economy in the context of the draft Industrial Strategy in 2017 (comparisons to a peer group of eight successful small economies).


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