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The Economy of Ireland

Module Code: EC202B

Module Title: Economy of Ireland

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Ronan Lyons

Module Learning Aims

This module aims to:

  • provide those with a fundamental level of economics (e.g. EC1010 or equivalent) with an understanding of the Irish economy and public policy-making; 
  • show how various pressures and policies have shaped the development of the Irish economy over time;
  • facilitate the use of clear and concise English that is required for understanding economics and policy-making.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • identify the key outcomes of interest for economic policymakers in Ireland and the primary tools used to achieve those outcomes;
  • highlight the main developments in Irish economic history;
  • outline the lessons to be learned by policymakers from past episodes of Irish economic development.

Module Content

This module focuses on how various pressures and policies have shaped the development of the Irish economy over time. This will be achieved by connecting the forces at work that influence the Irish economy, from local to global, and the options available to policymakers to the outcomes of interest. Policy options include fiscal, monetary/macro-prudential and trade-related policies, while the “success metrics” of relevance to Irish policymakers include income, population, employment, inequality and prices.

  1. The Economy as a System – Income, population and other success metrics; fiscal, monetary and trade policies; climate, technology and other forces affecting Irish development.
  2. Ireland Until Independence – the long 17th Century; Union & the Corn Law; the Great Famine and mass migration.
  3. Ireland Before the Celtic Tiger – autarky; the switch to openness and FDI; joining the EEC; the 1980s.
  4. Ireland Since the 1990s – the Celtic Tiger; financialisation and the crash; recent growth.

Recommended Reading List

No one text adequately covers the material covered in EC2020B. The following texts are used and useful for different parts of the course:

  • Louis Cullen, An economic history of Ireland since 1660 (Batsford, 1972).
  • Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland: A New Economic History, 1780-1939 (Clarendon, 1995).
  • Bielenberg & Ryan, An Economic History of Ireland since Independence (Routledge, 2013).
  • In addition, O’Hagan & Newman (eds) The Economy of Ireland: National and Sectoral Policy Issues (12th edition; Gill and Macmillan, Dublin August 2014) will be useful for outlining particular issues in relation to the Irish economy. Chapter 1 also provides an overview of material relevant to the module.

Other references will be supplied during lectures.

Module Pre-Requisite

An Introduction to Economics course is required (e.g. EC1010 or equivalent).

Assessment Details

The allocation of assessment marks will be as follows:

  • 40% for a multiple-choice question test taken in week 8 of Michaelmas Term; and
  • 60% for a group project due at the end of Michaelmas Term.

Module Website