Implications of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement for the Irish Economy

JEL Classification F13

Alan Matthews

Department of Economics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland


This paper examines the implications of the GATT Uruguay Round agreement in December 1993 for the Irish Economy, focusing in particular on output and employment effects. The main channels by which the GATT agreement will make its influence felt are first identified. Broad estimates of the output and employment consequences of each of these channels for the industrial, traded services and agricultural sectors are provided. Particular attention is given to defining the likely alternative economic scenarios which would have evolved in the abscence of a Uruguay Round agreement. The paper concludes that the gains to Ireland from market-opening measures, from the increased activity the agreement will stimulate and from avoiding the potential costs of failure will offset the losses arising from the erosion of Ireland's trade preferences within the European Union and from the increased disciplines on agricultural support.


The findings reported in this paper are based on a study prepared by Fitzpatrick Assosiates, Economic Consultants and the author for the Department of Tourism and Trade. A longer version of this paper has been published as a chapter in Cantillon et al. Economic Perspectives for the Medium Term, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, 1994.