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Irish Perceptions of the Great Depression

Frank Barry, Trinity College Dublin
Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin

IIIS Discussion Paper No. 349


This paper traces how the Great Depression was perceived in 1930s Ireland. Perceptions were complicated by internal political developments.  Fianna Fáil, upon acceding to power in 1932, rapidly expanded protection and engaged in (near balanced budget) fiscal expansion.  Despite the tariff war with Britain triggered by the land annuities dispute, Ireland appears to have weathered the storm better than most other European economies.  The contemporary writings of academic economists all reflected the influence of  Lionel Robbins and the Austrian School, while – to paraphrase Ronan Fanning – the winds of change in Irish economics blew much more vigorously in the corridors of the public service.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).