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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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ESRI (Darragh Flannery)

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Darragh Flannery

ESRI

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) was founded in 1960 by a group of civil servants led by TK Whitaker, the then Secretary of the Department of Finance. It has a commitment to independent research, free from government or political influence; however, it does receive around 25% of its funding from the government. While the institute conducts research across a range of topics such as health, education and the labour market, one of the most prominent areas of focus is the macro-economic modelling of the Irish economy.

Using the HERMES macro model, this helps forecast, among other things, the future economic growth, unemployment rate and debt to GDP ratio of the Irish economy, and forms the basis for publications such as the Medium Term Review and Quarterly Economic Commentary. With the onset of the banking and public expenditure crisis in 2008–9, these reports came into greater focus. In its Medium Term Review No. 10 published in 2005, the ESRI noted that ‘The Irish economy is now exceptionally dependent on the building industry for growth and employment’, while also drawing attention to the broader economic implications for a downturn in the construction sector and suggested some government policies that may alleviate such a decline.

While this may be seen as a clear warning to policy makers of the eventual collapse of the sector later that decade, the same report also outlined that ‘in spite of the dangers that...

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