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The Economy of Ireland

Module Code: EC202C

Module Title: Economy of Ireland

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and approximately 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Francis O’Toole

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;
  • economically interpret and evaluate public policy-making in Ireland and elsewhere; and,
  • facilitate the use of clear and concise English that is required for understanding economics and policy-making.

Modue 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;
  • interpret and analyse public/social policy phenomena in Ireland and elsewhere; and,
  • evaluate public policy-making in Ireland and elsewhere.

Module Content

The issue of market provision and/or state provision provides a central and recurring theme in this module. Within each policy area covered, the module investigates market failure and government failure, via for example consideration of externalities, informational problems and an examination of the public choice perspective. Specific topics expected to be covered include: inequality; regulation (e.g. “nudging”); taxation; housing (e.g. rent control); education; health; and, competition policy.

Hilary Term:

  1. Resource allocation, market failures, regulation and nudging.
  2. Taxation, efficiency and inequality.
  3. Education.
  4. Health.
  5. Housing.
  6. Pensions.

Recommended Reading List

O’Hagan & O'Toole (eds) The Economy of Ireland (13th edition; Palgrave, Dublin, August 2017) will be the primary textbook. The following books will provide useful background (but not essential) reading:

  • Le Grand, J., Propper C. and S. Smith, The Economics of Social Problems, 4th Edition, palgrave macmillan, 2008.
  • Sandel, M., What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, Penguin Books, 2012.
  • Thaler, R., and C. Sunstein, Nudge, Penguin Books, 2009.

Other references will be supplied during lectures.

Module Pre-Requisite

Introduction to Economics (e.g. EC1010 or equivalent).

Assessment Details

It is envisaged that the allocation of assessment marks will be as follows:

  • 50 per cent for a mid-term test to be taken in week 8 of Hilary Term; and,
  • 50 per cent for the final examination.

Module Website