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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Black Economy (Seamus Coffey)

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Seamus Coffey

Black Economy

Two of the most common forms of public deception are transfer fraud and tax evasion, both of which are related to the so-called black economy, which is also referred to as the shadow, informal, cash, or underground economy. Total economic activity comprises all production of goods and services whether sold in markets or not. The formal economy is that portion of total economic activity that appears in official estimates of national income in the national accounts.

The black economy comprises that part of total economic activity that is excluded from the official measurement process. These items should be recorded as part of national income, but are excluded from official estimates because they remain hidden from the authorities. Despite some conceptual differences, it seems likely that the level of black economy income is closely connected with tax-evaded income.

The scale of the black economy calls into question the reliability of official statistics, making national income look ‘too low’, and unemployment ‘too high’. Taxation policy is based on redistribution. However, if it has to rely on inaccurate official data, it is left operating in the dark, perhaps helping those who are not badly placed, to the exclusion of more deserving others.

There is also the question of the ‘missing’ taxation. If a given volume of tax revenue has to be raised to meet expenditure commitments, evasion by some raises the tax rate faced by others. Given that people...

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