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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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National Accounts (Seamus Coffey)

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Seamus Coffey

National Accounts

The national accounts are a set of figures produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that are intended to describe the economy as a whole. The accounts look at the aggregate or overall amount of production, income and consumption in the economy, as well as the stocks of assets and transaction flows with the rest of the world. Internationally, the most widely used measure from the accounts is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a measure of the total value of goods and services produced in an economy in a particular time period, usually a year. For most countries, the output measure of GDP is also a good measure of income and GDP can be used in a variety of contexts.

For Ireland, GDP is a good measure of output but it is a poor measure of income. This is because a very large share of the output produced in Ireland arises in foreign-owned, and particularly US-owned, businesses. Thus, while Ireland benefits from the salaries paid to their employees, the purchases by the companies of goods and services from Irish suppliers, and the tax paid to the government, the net profit accrues to the foreign shareholders, and should not be counted as Irish income.

When such income flows are adjusted for in the national accounts, we get Gross National Product (GNP). This is the income that accrues to the residents of a country. Ireland’s GNP has diverged downwards...

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