In a world where the number of publications is an indicator of your value, women researchers are penalised for any time spent out of the workforce to have children or engage in care duties.

Stateside dominance poses a risk that US perspectives prevail in academic literature

The wind farm at Bruckana on the Laois, Kilkenny and Tipperary borders. For Ireland, electricity was the one area where we made major progress in reducing emissions. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Revenue in any EU-wide permit scheme ought to accrue to national governments

Clery’s interior: From 1946 when the rationing eased, there was a consumer boom as people bought the things that they had missed out on over the previous six years.

There was a spending splurge after 1945 as people purchased clothes and travelled

Covid-19 vaccines: In recent years, policy in the US has moved against relying on foreign supply of key products such as pharmaceuticals.  Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

John FitzGerald: Integrated nature of drug sector’s supply chains cannot be unwound

US president Joe Biden: returning to OECD negotiations on tax while also changing US system. Photograph: Andrew Harnik

Shift in Biden policy on offshore firms could be minor gain for US but huge hit for Ireland

Over the last 20 years, national income per head has grown faster here than in the UK, and is now about 10 per cent higher than across the water. Photograph: iStock

John FitzGerald: Premium for graduates working in Ireland, relative to Britain, varies by sector

When we are freed from our confinement at home, there is likely to be a temporary surge in consumption, but any upward pressure on prices will also be temporary. Photograph: iStock

Globalisation and changed economic structures have helped keep inflation under control

Holidays to the sun will be one destination for Irish savers post-vaccination. Photograph: iStock

John FitzGerald: Higher taxation will be needed once excess savings are depleted

Employers will need to signal well in advance when a full return to “normal” working is expected, especially for those who need to return to within commuting distance of the office.

Move away from remote working will push up housing demand and carbon emissions

Freight at Dublin Port. Photograph: Alan Betson

The threat of tariffs and border controls on this island hasn’t gone away

Too often advocates for individual projects emphasise the jobs they will generate rather than the good or service produced. Photograph: iStock

John FitzGerald: The headline number for new positions often greatly exaggerates the benefits to society

If the economy were to return to full employment by 2023,  it would be necessary immediately to return to balancing the books

John FitzGerald: The more rapid the recovery, the sooner normal fiscal rules apply

The port of Larne. The UK will progressively impose customs and other checks on exports to Brittain over the next few months. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

John FitzGerald: A firm opening a branch in NI would be able to service Britain and the EU

A Swedish study confirmed that fluoridation of water produces a substantial improvement in dental health. File photograph: iStock

Impact of Covid on education of a generation will be closely studied for years

Unless the more polluting choice becomes the more expensive choice, we  have little incentive to change our ways. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland, North and South, would benefit by copying best British policies

It is now often easier to import directly from the EU rather than trans-shipping via the UK. Photograph: iStock

It will now be easier to import direct from the EU than via the UK, but the cost is significant

A deserted Grafton Street in Dublin  during lockdown. The surge in Covid cases  means that the serious lockdown will persist for some time to come

The issue of how rules are adjusted to take account of increasing numbers of people who are vaccinated will raise difficult choice(...)

We see companies keen, among other things, to buy renewable energy or signing up to certification schemes. These actions go beyond the traditional concentration on short-term profitability. Photographs: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

John FitzGerald: It is increasingly important for firms to be seen as responsible citizens

A ship at Dublin Port. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Manufacturing, services and food likely to have very different outcomes in the long run

Up to now, the Irish regulatory bodies have encouraged consumers to move supplier as the antidote to differential prices charged to stayers and movers. Photograph: iStock

Consumers struggle to make good decisions when choices are too many or too complex

Not surprisingly multinationals account for half of the growth coming from manufacturing, but they account for only half of the contribution to growth from the IT sector. This latter finding is striking as we know about the importance of firms like Google and Facebook, but we hear much less about the domestic firms which are also playing an important role. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP

CSO works hard to get accurate picture, but reading the runes still a big ask

If  cattle spend a month grazing on Co Fermanagh grass, would they become UK “citizens”, entitled to enter Britain tariff-free?   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

John FitzGerald: Deal would be prime opportunity to sell Northern Ireland as a good place for British exporters to do business

Larger, more regionally diversified banks can generally raise capital at a lower cost than smaller banks concentrated in one market or market segment. Photograph: iStock

Euro-wide banks could reduce the cost of borrowing in Ireland

The imminent arrival of vaccines holds out the prospect that the pandemic may be brought fully under control in the developed world by the end of next year. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty   Images

Build up of household savings likely to herald major spending increase once conditions permit

US president-elect Joe Biden . Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Personal income in US is forecast to fall 4% in 2021 even without further lockdowns

‘Whatever the marvels of technology, you can’t hug over Skype or Zoom.’ Photograph: iStock

Almost half of Irish adults aged below the mid-30s have lived abroad for at least a year

M50 on the first day of Level 5 lockdown. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Forcing auto industry to lower emissions key to reaching EU carbon targets

A street in Belfast: In its current form, the Northern Ireland economy would be exceptionally challenging to merge into any united Ireland. Photograph: Mark Marlow

Northern Ireland requires deep economic and social change before any referendum

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (right) and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath outside Government Buildings in Dublin on Tuesday, budget day. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

VAT cut for hospitality and help for first-time buyers ‘wasteful or ineffective’

The worst-case scenario, where a vaccine does not become available next year, has not been considered. This would have very serious implications for  public health policy and the economy.

John FitzGerald: By late 2021, excess savings will hit €20bn or 20% of total consumption

Reducing transport emissions may be complicated by Brexit. A lot of “dirty” cars bought in the Republic come second-hand from the UK.

People, firms and farmers need incentives to modify transport and heating behaviour

Since 2018, more than 620 appeals against planting or harvesting trees have been taken. Photograph: Serdar Yorulmaz/iStock

John FitzGerald: Licensing system cripples planting efforts and inhibits climate efforts

Joe Biden with Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in 2016. Biden has already established that his great-grandfather came from Louth and his great-great-great grandfather from Mayo. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Biden would be latest president to claim Irish heritage but influence may be on wane

The export sector has held up despite Covid-19.

Ireland’s tradeable sector is mainly untouched by crisis and will drive recovery

‘The dismal economic outturn has nothing to do with unwise behaviour by consumers or governments. It is due to the pandemic.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

John FitzGerald: Covid-19 vaccine could rapidly boost consumer confidence

Comparing Finland and Ireland’s experience of crash and recovery indicates an independent exchange rate is not an automatic  cure. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Recovery can be driven by outward-looking economies with educated workforces

East and west German citizens celebrate as they climb the Berlin wall at the Brandenburg gate after the opening of the east German border was announced. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/ Reuters

The experience of German integration holds lessons for Ireland

A much more effective way of supporting cycling than financing the cycle-to-work scheme would be to spend the money on bike parks at commuter stations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

John FitzGerald: Expansion of help-to-buy and bike-to-work schemes are poor uses of funds

Grafton Street: If an effective vaccine is developed over the coming 18 months and the economy can be taken out of cold storage, some lost ground of 2020 may be made up. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

John FitzGerald: Government faces obstacles to boosting housing supply amid pandemic

Pascal Saint-Amans of the OECD, who is leading a global initiative on tax reform.  Photograph: Conor Mulhern

John FitzGerald: Supporting OECD on taxing digital giants could be a small price to pay

Irish Water: the obvious solution to funding shortfalls is metering but this is unlikely to happen for quite some time

Utility differs from energy sector in that it has no power to ensure it is financed

The Cabinet comes with many changes to departments and these may alter the traditional roles of secretary-generals. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

Specific management focus might beat generalism in serving portfolio recalibration

CSO data published on Tuesday shows that the income of 80% of households has not fallen due to the Covid-19 crisis. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

John FitzGerald: Fiscal stimulus to encourage consumption this summer is doomed to failure

Changing legal systems to outlaw gender discrimination is just a starting point. Changing what happens on the ground is a much bigger challenge. Photograph: UIG via Getty Images

Women enjoy three-quarters of the legal rights of men, study shows

The exceptional decline in the EU economy has made it necessary to relax the rules, with Lufthansa accessing €9 billion in state aid. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP

Brussels has to formulate state assistance framework with clear principles of fairness

The emerging German tax proposal is very different from the 2011 one, responding to many problems identified with the original version. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall

Financial transaction fee may be ‘pawn’ to help protect Ireland’s corporation tax regime

Because of Dublin’s low density, buses have a key role to play in keeping the city moving. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

John FitzGerald: Good public transport improves quality of life and lowers greenhouse gases

A deserted Grafton Street during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as continuing assistance to business will be required in the recovery period, a more fine-tuned approach is necessary

John FitzGerald: SME support conditional on reaching deal with landlord to cut rent

Much of the new debt being issued by the Government will end up being bought by the ECB. File photograph: Yara Nardi/Reuters

John FitzGerald: Borrowing is an appropriate response to pandemic for several reasons

‘By 2022 there is likely to be an exceptional rise in expenditure on the things we can’t spend on today.’ File photo. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

By the end of this year households will have up to €15bn extra in their bank accounts

While the Covid-19 lockdown may reduce this year’s emissions by over 5 per cent, as the economy re-opens there will be an inevitable rebound, and much of these gains reversed

Delay means more expensive to get to net zero emissions by 2050

A protest in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon against conscription in 1918. The issue of home rule or independence dominated the concerns of that time, not the grave risk to public health. Photograph: Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

There’s a ‘collective amnesia’ in Ireland around the deadly outbreak of 1918-19

For Italy and Greece,  both heavily dependent on tourism, the recovery is likely to be more difficult than for Germany or Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

John FitzGerald: There are advantages to a pooled approach to borrowing across the euro zone

The public understands that, in the light of the Covid-19 economic shutdown, many manifesto commitments are currently undeliverable

John FitzGerald: New administration must underpromise in programme for government

Merrion Square in Dublin stands empty due to Covid-19 lockdown measures. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government borrowing could end up being a quarter of what it was in the financial crisis

By shifting to renewable energy, the world demand for fossil fuels is likely to fall between 2030 and 2050. Photograph: Eric Taylor/Bloomberg

John FitzGerald: Oil price fall reflects the long-term changes in the world market for oil

The State can borrow to try and ensure that by the end of 2021 most individuals and companies will be back on their feet. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

After crisis passes, there will be very limited resources to carry out pre-election promises

A couple wear surgical masks while shopping  on  Grafton Street, Dublin. The longer the health crisis continues the bigger the economic impact. Photograph: Paul Faith / AFP via Getty Images

The significant economic costs will become more obvious over the next six months

With the recovery in the economy, the demand for workers in the construction sector has grown rapidly.

Shortage of workers and houses means drawing from inactive groups already here

 Can we build enough  homes to satisfy the claims made by the various parties in the recent general election campaign? Photograph: Cyril Byrne

John FitzGerald: Urgent action is not enough to deliver required new homes

Daniel O’Donnell welcomes the Mary from Dungloe contestants on stage during a concert. Ireland’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2011 might have been helped by his popularity in certain small countries. Photograph: North West Newspix

More active strategy to harness economic value of Irish culture could reap rewards

A euphorbium poplar forest in Kuche, Xinjiang Province, China. Photograph: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty
Poem of the week: Who

A new work by John FitzGerald

The difference in living standards between rich and poor regions in practice may not be quite as high as the headline figures suggest, because housing is typically a lot cheaper in poorer regions.  Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Cutting taxes on income or property would damage ability to redistribute wealth

While polls over the last year have shown an increased interest in tackling climate change, this appears to have evaporated now that an election is under way. Photograph:  Getty Images

John FitzGerald: It’s much easier in election mode to offer more cash for health or housing than to try to save the planet

‘It is no surprise that housing is figuring prominently in election manifestos.’ File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

John FitzGerald: Parties’ plans could exacerbate things without solving underlying issues

In 2013, the UK government introduced a carbon price floor, resulting in the closure of all coal-fired generation plants in mainland Britain. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

John FitzGerald: Co-ordinated North-South action is needed to tackle the issue effectively

TK Whitaker  in 1975, when he was governor of the Central Bank. Photograph: Tommy Collins

Downgrading of specialist skills has contributed to policy failures in the 2000s

US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2017. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

John FitzGerald: New protectionist regime is good for neither US nor the rest of the world

Intel in Leixlip, Co Dublin. The CSO figures  show that multinationals account for around 20%  of our income, a similar share to what it was in 2013

John FitzGerald: It is only after much CSO work that we are beginning to see what is really going on

Probably the main channel through which the ECB action has affected the euro zone economy has been through the effect of zero interest rates on the exchange rate. Photograph: Getty Images

John FitzGerald: A euro zone fiscal stimulus is the only way to effectively revitalise the economy

“If the price of damaging emissions is not fully reflected in the prices we pay, the unconscious tendency will be to overconsume what is harmful, and underinvest in the greener alternatives.”

Policy changes could help shift the behaviour of businesses and households

Ellis Island, in New York Harbor, once an immigration inspection station many Irish emigrants passed through. Between 1820 and 1920, about six million people emigrated from Ireland to the US

Immigrants to Ireland from a non-English-speaking country typically experience some disadvantage

Those most likely to be consistently poor today are those who are unemployed, out of work due to sickness or disability, or lone parents. Photograph: iStock

The policy mix needed to deal with inequity is complex, not something easily fixed by changes to the welfare or tax systems

A customs post outside Newry, Co Down. File photograph: Pacemaker

John FitzGerald: Boris Johnson’s unrealistic timetable for trade deal could bring us back to dark days

The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago tomorrow triggered the most fundamental change in Europe since the second World War. Photograph: AP Photo, File

Breaking up a country is relatively easy but, as the Germans discovered, putting it together again is much more challenging

Samson and Goliath: Twin shipbuilding gantry cranes in the Titanic quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

John FitzGerald: A sharp fall in vital transfers to Northern Ireland after Brexit is likely

DUP leader Arlene Foster. The first Brexit agreement in December 2017 between May’s government and the EU had to be rapidly altered because of opposition from her  party. Photograph: Sam Boal/

With checks between the North and Britain adding to the costs for businesses, it’s no wonder the DUP is cross

Joint Nobel Prize winner in economics, Esther Duflo,  at MIT on October 14th. Photograph:  Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Esther Duflo’s research in developing countries has practical impact on tackling poverty

The budget introduced by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe includes about €800 million of conditional support for those who will be worst affected by Brexit. Photograph: Tom Honan

Budget needed to be Goldilocks solution to keep economy from overheating or cooling

An engineer measuring voltage or current. Having links with less “windy” systems means that surplus power can be exported when the wind blows in Ireland

John Fitzgerald: if Ireland is to generate 40% of its electricity from wind we need to double our interconnection with Britain and(...)

What happened to the 200,000 construction workers who lost their jobs in the 2008-2010 period?

Economists from the Irish Government Economic Service show the value of having in-house analysis capacity

A major problem for Ireland’s beef sector is that EU demand for the product is weak relative to supply.

Brexit, removal of EU protections and rise of meat alternatives are death knell for sector

One response may be for an orphan Northern Ireland to seek a home in a united Ireland. However, from an economic point of view, this would have unpleasant consequences North and South. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

John FitzGerald: Both North and South could pay a large price for unity in the near future

An exterior view of the Titanic Belfast building in Belfast, Northern Ireland. File photograph: David Moir/Reuters

John FitzGerald: The North faces decades of inertia unless there is urgent reform

Cars made in a free port Sunderland using imported parts would attract some tariffs if sold to consumers elsewhere within the UK. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

John FitzGerald: Drive towards making Teesside a free port could offer a way forward

Today 800 million litres of milk produced in the North are sent to the Republic for processing. Photograph: iStock

Many Northern farmers will be unable to continue in business

Cities that have introduced congestion charging have seen tangible improvements in terms of reduced traffic and better air quality.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

In the next few years, we will need to commit to a new tax regime for road transport

Alternative land uses could provide positive returns, rather than the losses that beef production entails. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

John FitzGerald: The economics of beef are on a knife edge – changing makes sense

The minimum wage is effective at providing some protection for poorly organised workers with weak bargaining positions.

John Fitzgerald: Ireland’s lower-paid workers are not always from poorest households

Our prices for food and clothing are about 10 per cent more expensive than in the EU15. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

John FitzGerald: Price level here is more than compensated for by other factors

Poor life expectancy today is related to many factors such as deprivation, social class and education level. Photograph: Getty Images

Inequality in life expectancy has received much less attention than income inequality

The shock to our economy from a disorderly Brexit would reduce our national income by about 4 per cent, and lead to a major rise in unemployment

Pumping money into construction will lead to price rises, not increased supply

Facebook in Dublin. Most of the foreign multinationals in Ireland today are primarily here because of the availability of the skilled labour they need. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

There is still work to be done in separating out multinationals from the rest of the economy

Breaking down the   Berlin Wall. Its fall  initiated a major transformation in the wider European economy whose effects played out over the subsequent 25 years.  Photograph:   David Brauchli/Reuters

Populist politicians continue to blame globalisation and foreigners for society’s ills

‘Child benefit is paid to mothers, this does not protect them from personally experiencing deprivation. Photograph: iStock

Research found in low-income households benefit spent by mothers on their children

The Republic has been a net beneficiary until the current decade, and today makes only a small net contribution to the budget. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Irish contributions will increase if UK leaves union but benefits are worth the cost

While housing output is beginning to pick up, it could be another four or five years before supply and demand come into balance. Photograph: Getty Images

John FitzGerald: New survey shows employment figures set to grow despite threats

Dollymount, Dublin. Throughout Ireland, extreme weather has brought more frequent and severe storms, increased flooding, droughts and wildfires, with all their negative consequences. File photograph: Eric Luke

Collapse of Rome shows how failure to adapt can have catastrophic consequences

 Work  at the national children’s hospital  site at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. While its  cash cost  is heading for €2bn, a hidden cost is the effect on the economy’s output of raising the revenue to pay for it. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

While a sophisticated method for assessing the value of public projects is now applied, this does not guarantee final costs will r(...)

Paschal Donohoe: tricky decisions ahead. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

John FitzGerald: Should Donohoe prepare State for Brexit crash-out or further growth?

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