Ireland and the financial crisis.
Mac An Bhaird, Ciarán (2010) Ireland and the financial crisis. In: Lagoarde Segot, Thomas, (ed.) After the crisis: Rethinking Finance. Global recession. Causes, impacts and remedies . Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 35-46. ISBN 978-1-61668-925-4
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The growth of the Irish economy in the years 1995-2007 was dramatic and unparalleled by Western economies, earning Ireland the moniker “The Celtic Tiger”. Emerging from conditions of high unemployment, very high rates of emigration of graduates, and enormous government debt in the 1980s, the transformation of the Irish economy in two decades was remarkable and lauded by economists and commentators. High growth rates were facilitated by a number of factors, including the presence of a large number of multinationals producing goods for export, generally benign world economic conditions, low interest rates, a low taxation regime, and an expansionary government policy which embraced the tenets of the ‘free market’. With the onset of the financial crisis, however, came another rapid transformation in the Irish economy. From being one of the fastest growing Western economies in the late 1990s, in 2009 Ireland suffered the greatest contraction of any OECD country since the second world war. The reasons for this dramatic reversal of fortune were attributable not only to the global financial crisis, but also to government policies and the structure of the Irish economy. In this chapter, the remarkable rise and fall of the Irish economy is described and analysed. Influences on the performance of the Irish economy in this period, including the benign world economy, government policy, and the structure of the Irish economy are analysed and examined. Proposals on how best to initiate recovery are also assessed, particularly the narrow focus of discourse which largely concentrates on attempts to ‘fix’ the current system, without considering alternative approaches.
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