A paper I co-authored with Declan Jordan on European income inequality which was published in the Journal of Economic Studies has just appeared on RePEc. It can be accessed here.
I have given two radio interviews on the Cyprus bailout. The first on UTV radio and the second on Limerick Today. Both explained the current situation in Cyprus where depositors in banks are being subjected to a "haircut" on their savings as part of a bailout deal for the country's banks.
I gave an interview today to UTV radio on the implications of Minister Noonan's announcement of the possibility of extending Ireland's repayments due under the EFSF. The interview is to be broadcast on various local radio stations.
I have added new tutorials for modules I teach to the teaching resource section of my website. These can be accessed here. They cover basic macroeconomics (EC2102), econometrics (EC6054&EC3
Myself, Declan Jordan and Eoin O'Leary presented a paper on the "Effects of R&D Spending on Innovation by Irish and Foreign-owned Businesses" to the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland on the 1st of November 2012. The slides (which were presented by Eoin) can be viewed below. A copy of the paper can be accessed here. The paper will be appearing in the next issue of the Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland.
The latest release from the CSO on property prices indicates that residential property prices in Ireland have risen by 0.9% in the month of September. This has led to a report in the ‘Irish Independent’ that there are “hopes the worst is over” (available here). While a slight increase in September was indeed observed, as can be seen in Figure 1, there are more details which need to be considered.
For instance if we look at the regional disaggregated statistics we can see that while prices rose by 2.4% in Dublin, residential property prices in the rest of the country actually decline by 0.1%. As would be expected the largest urban concentration in Ireland has seen the largest rise in prices. What the ‘rest of the country’ statistics likely hide is a similarly large urban rural divide. The rest of the country includes Cork City, Galway City, Limerick City etc. In these large urban areas we might expect that property prices to also recover relatively quickly, as there is a concentration of demand for houses. However, more rural areas are likely to suffer more, especially in instances where there is a lack of local employment to draw people to an area. Given the level of disaggregation available in the CSO statistics it is not possible to be definitive about this; however, research into house prices in the UK conducted by various academics would suggest this to be the case. Therefore, caution should be urged when considering these statistics and we should note that there is likely to be substantial regional variation in the extent to which locations recover, with an oversupply of houses in some locations which will have a downward effect on prices.
The latest QS University rankings have just been released. Irish Universities, for the most part, have continued their gradual fall in the rankings or maintained their ranking. The QS rankings are based on research, teaching, the employability of its graduates and international outlook. Figure 1 shows the actual rankings since 2005. The graph shows Irish universities have had a strong increase in rankings throughout this period but with a worsening outlook for 2011 and 2012.
Figure 2 shows the rate of change over the same time period. During the 2005 to 2009 period all Irish universities were showing improving rankings. However, from 2010 onwards this situation has reversed and most Irish universities are now losing ground on their international competitors or making only marginal gains on them.
The latest Global Competitiveness Report has just been released and can be accessed here. Some interesting statistics on Ireland can be gained from the report.
Notably, Ireland has improved its competitiveness ranking from 29th (which it held for the last two years) to 27th. Increased competitiveness is views as enabling an economy to grow more rapidly (and in the case of Ireland may have implications for recovery). However, this ranking of 27th, while good, is comprised of some worrying outlooks on the Irish economy. For instance, Ireland's macroeconomic outlook is ranked as 131st. Indicating the high level of uncertainty regarding Ireland's growing debt and the ability of the Irish economy to recover following the recession. It also reflects Ireland's budget problems and high debt to GDP ratio. Ireland's Financial Market Development is ranked at 108, again indicating a high level of uncertainty regarding the financial institutions in place in Ireland. It also takes into account the difficulty of getting finance from various sources. Indeed, when asked the most problematic factor for doing business in Ireland business reported a lack of access to finance as their number one problem.
So overall, while Ireland's competitive position has increased slightly from previous years, there is still a large amount of uncertainty surrounding the macroeconomic environment (government budgets, debt etc) and the financial system (access to finance etc).
I was on the local organising committee for the Irish Society of New Economists (ISNE) 9th annual conference which was held in University College Cork on the 23rd and 24th of August 2012. We had over 70 delegates attending the event presenting their research. With an opening address from Professor Connell Fanning (University College Cork) and keynote addresses by Professor Bernard Fingleton (University of Cambridge) and Professor Geoffrey Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire). Below are some photos from what was an enjoyable and successful event. The official website for the conference can be accessed at www.isne2012.com
Ireland's 9 year bond yield has dropped below 6% for the first time since October 2010. Looking at the graph below we can see this is reflective of a generally downward trend over the past few weeks. Rates have fallen from a high of over 9.5% in December 2011 and while they rose slightly in June they have returned to their downward trend. This reduction in the cost of borrowing will be welcomed by Government as it is viewed as a measure of the credibility international investors view Ireland with. This follows the state raising €5 billion on the bond market last month.
Justin Doran is a Lecturer in Economics, in the Department of Economics, University College Cork, Ireland.