So who really bore the burden of our recession and recovery ?

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By Cormac Lucey The question of who bore the brunt of the bitter economic adjustment Ireland faced in the years immediately following 2008, as economic boom turned to bust, has always attracted heavy political attention. It’s also attracted academic attention as various experts have trawled through the data to measure the impact of the bust on different social strata. The … Read More

Italian populism could soon cloud our sunny outlook

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By Cormac Lucey Humans adapt quickly to changed reality and soon take it for granted. Spring replaces winter, and we feel that life should always be like this. We almost forget the experience of winterish conditions, or that in a few months they will return. Similarly, when strong economic recovery replaces a brush with economic depression, we take the positive … Read More

Irish Rail’s Disappearing Trains

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By Cormac Lucey Starbucks recently decided to create an app to allow customers order and pay on a smartphone before entering a store to collect their coffee. The innovation caused bottlenecks during busy hours at some of Starbucks’ most popular locations. According to Business Insider: “The crowds of customers waiting for their lattes and frappucinos has even started to discourage … Read More

One man saw it coming….

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   By Cormac Lucey At a recent meeting of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Frank Barry looked back at the 1990s debate on joining the euro. Barry, who was one of the UCD economists who queried the merits of joining the single currency, had unearthed a great quote from the Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe from February … Read More

A seamless and frictionless border?

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By Cormac Lucey On a visit to Dublin last month, the British prime minister Theresa May said that Dublin and London want the continuation of the common travel area, and a “seamless, frictionless border” between Dundalk and Newry. Two factors are central to the effective disappearance of the border as a practical impediment. First, both the UK and Ireland are … Read More

An ageing planet : technology, immortality and pensions

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By Cormac Lucey Living to 90 may become the new normal, a study of longevity trends in 35 industrialised countries suggested this week. The study, by scientists from Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, was published on Wednesday in The Lancet, a medical journal. The report showed that people in all countries can expect to be … Read More

Ireland’s apple-licking response to Trump

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By Cormac Lucey Many years ago I heard Professor Declan Kiberd describe the Irish as “apple-lickers”. Imagine if the Book of Genesis had featured Paddy and Eve in the Garden of Eden, instead of Adam and Eve. Paddy and Eve would have been free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good … Read More