Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

John O'Hagan

Professor of Economics, Emeritus

John has worked in Trinity since 1970 and was appointed Professor of Economics in 2005 (Professor Emeritus from October 2016). He obtained his BE in Electrical Engineering in 1967, BA in Economics and Politics in 1969, and MA in Economics in 1970 from University College Dublin. He obtained his PhD in Economics from Trinity College Dublin in 1976.

In the past he was a visiting Scholar/Professor at the universities of York and Bath in England, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark (four times), Cologne University (twice) and Witten/Herdecke University (Germany).  He was the College Bursar from 2001 to 2005 and was awarded the Provost’s Life-Time Teaching Award in 2009.  He still gives a module of lectures on the European Economy in the Junior Sophister year (70-80 students).

President of the annual undergraduate journal, Student Economic Review (SER), from its inception in 1987 to 2016.  See  Lead academic figure in developing between 2012 and 2022 the successful Grattan PhD Scholarship programme in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy. On the Executive Board of the Association of Cultural Economics International from 1996 to 2002, and President from 1998 to 2000.  Appointed as ninth Honorary Fellow of the Association in 2021. Was centrally involved in the past with five major government-appointed bodies, dealing with: Long-term Unemployment, the Arts and Local Government, Local Government Financing, Value for Money in the Arts, and Spending Reviews.

Research has covered two main areas: the economics of the arts, especially the migration and clustering of creative workers, and the Economy of Ireland. In relation to the latter, he was editor or co-editor of fourteen editions of the popular Economy of Ireland book, between 1975 and 2021 (published in turn by IMI, Gill & Macmillan, Macmillan Palgrave, and Bloomsbury).  Main project work over last ten years is on spatial dimensions to the output of creative writers and of economists, in a historical context (publications to date listed below).  Some of his recent PhD students have already published extensively in this area, including in top journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Urban Economics, European Economic Review, and Review of Economics and Statistics.  Current research is devoted to the economic and technological challenges confronting orchestras.

Articles/Book Chapters/Monographs (from 2012)

Recent publications are listed below (a * indicating where the material has gone through a formal anonymous refereeing process).

2023*    ‘Technology and live orchestral music: Challenges old and new’ (submitted to journal), March (with M. Zieba)

2022*     ‘Historical mobility, creative output and age of prominent visual artists, composers and authors’, European Review of Economic History heac016, 6 December.

2022       ‘Taking back control: The role of the EU’, Studies (An Irish Quarterly Review), Winter, pp. 378-391.

2021*     ‘Top graduate programmes in economics: Historical evolution and recent evidence’. Kyklos, 1–18.

2021       ‘Location of top doctorate programmes: Evidence from young economist awards’, Vox-EU, 04 May at:

2021*    ‘Orchestrating change: orchestras in a changing world’, in E. Salvador, T. Navarrete, and A. Srakar (editors). Creative Industries and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Routledge, Oxford (co-author K. Borowiecki), pp. 254-267.

2021       ‘Policy Priorities’, in J. O’Hagan, F. O’Toole, and C. Whelan (editors), The Economy of Ireland: Policymaking in a Global Context (14th edition), Bloomsbury, London (co-author D. McAleese).

2021*    ‘Location, literary output and age: prominent US authors, born 1800 to 1950’, Poetics;Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts (June, online at: .

2021       ‘Cultural policy in a historical context: museums and the live performing arts in Western Europe and the United States’, in L. César Herrero and J. Prieto Rodríguez (eds), La Economía de la Cultura: Una Diciplina Jóven, Ediciones de la Universidad de Oviedo, pp 43-58.

2020       Rationale, Operation, and Issues: Irish Spending Review Process, 2017-2019, Report for Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Dublin, 25pp.

2020       ‘Multi authored journal articles in economics; why the spiralling upward trend?’ in U. Panizza and S. Galiana (editors), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Geneva (e-book, September, co-author Lukas Kuld).

2020* ‘Do State funding, geographic location, and networks matter? The case of prominent Irish actors, directors and writers’, Cultural Trends, 29 (2), pp. 77-95 (co-authors Ruth Barton and Denis Murphy)

2020       ‘Tax Concessions’, in T. Navarrete and R. Towse (eds.), Handbook of Cultural Economics (third edition) Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 494-502.

2018       ‘The Irish economy 1973 to 2016’, in Thomas Bartlett (editor), The Cambridge History of Ireland 1880 to the Present, Volume 4, Cambridge University Press, pp. 500-526.

2018*    ‘Rise of multi-authored papers in economics: Demise of the ‘lone star’ and why?’, Scientometrics, Vol 114 (3), pp. 1207–1225 (co-author L. Kuld).

2017       ‘Consumption and living conditions’, in E. Biagini and M. Daly (editors), The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland, Cambridge University Press (co-author A. Bielenberg), pp. 195-211.

2017       ‘The trend of increasing co-authorship in economics: New evidence’ Vox-EU 16 December at:

2017*    ‘Historical migration and geographic clustering of prominent Western philosophers’, Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics (co-author A. Walsh), 34 (1), pp. 11-32.

2016*    ‘Objectives of arts funding agencies do not map well onto societal objectives’, Cultural Trends. 25 (4) pp. 1–14.

2016       ‘Attendance at publicly funded arts events: Are the highly variable rates by educational level a cause for concern?’ Social Observatory (Spanish e-journal).

2016*    ‘European Statistics on cultural participation and their international comparability’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 22 (2), pp. 291-303 (on-line 2014). (Reproduced in J Prieto et al, Enhancing Cultural Participation, Springer, Berlin 2017).  

2014*    ‘Attendance at/participation in the arts by educational level: Evidence and issues’, Homo Oeconomicus; Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, 31 (3), pp. 411-429. (Reproduced in J. Prieto et al, Enhancing Cultural Participation, Springer, Berlin 2017).

2014       ‘Migration and clustering of creative workers: Historical case studies of visual artists and composers’, in L. Brennan (editor), Enacting Globalization: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on International Integration, Palgrave, pp 125-133.

2013*    ‘War and individual life-cycle creativity: Tentative evidence in relation to composers’, Journal of Cultural Economics (co-author K. Borowiecki), 37 (3), pp. 347-358,

2013.      Sharing Economic Sovereignty: Beneficial or Not and Who Decides?  IIEA Governance Paper No. 2, May, pp. 1-12.

2013 *    ‘Demand for live orchestral music: The case of German Kulturorchester’, Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik (Journal of Economics and Statistics), (co-author, M. Zieba), 235 (2), pp. 225-245.

2012*     ‘Tax expenditures: Pervasive, ‘hidden’ and undesirable subsidies to the arts?’ Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, 29. (2), pp. 95-118.

2012*‘Historical patterns based on automatically extracted data: The case of classical composers’, Historical Social Research: Historische Sozialforschung, Vol. 3 (2), pp. 298-314 (co-author K. Borowiecki)

Books (from 2012)

2021. The Economy of Ireland: Policymaking in a Global Context (co-editor with Francis O’Toole and Ciara Whelan) (14th edition), Bloomsbury, London, 445pp.

2017 The Economy of Ireland: Policymaking in a Global Context (co-editor with Francis O’Toole) (13th edition), Palgrave, London, 385pp.

2017 Enhancing Cultural Participation (co-editor with J. Prieto et al), Springer, Berlin, 400pp.

2014 The Economy of Ireland: National and Sectoral Policy Issues (co-editor with Carol Newman) (12th edition), Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 373pp.