Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Migration Ireland

This may not exactly comes as breaking news, but the Irish Central Statistical Office published a report earlier this month giving population and migration estimates for 2006. And of course what we learn from reading that report is that immigration now constitutes some two thirds of the annual Irish population increase (the other component coming naturally from increasing life expectancy, since fertility is now below replacement level).
continue reading

Europe's Tiger

Last Friday Eurostat released the 2004 data on comparative per capita PPP’s (purchasing power parities) across the EU. Perhaps the most surprising fact which emerges is that Ireland is now in second place (after Luzembourg) with a PPP 40% above the EU average. For a country that not so long ago was considered one of the ’poorer’ EU members this is truly stunning.

It is generally well known that Ireland had (and continues to have) one of the highest fertility and population growth rates in the EU, but this has not been regarded as especially important since conventional neo-clasical growth theory (and the new ’super-duper’endogenous growth theory for that matter) argue that increased population means a bigger economy, but not necessarily an increase in per capita income. However, as I said yesterday, it’s all about population structure. What we are now understanding is that the right age structure can produce very rapid increases in per capita income, and Ireland is, of course, a good case in point.

In the case of the ’Celtic Tiger’, New Economic Paradigm theorists David Bloom and David Canning, who have made a specific study of the Irish case, reached the following conclusions:

Ireland has been slow to complete the demographic transition. The death rate in Ireland, which drifted down only slightly during the period 1950-2000, has been relatively low by international standards……and comparable to the rest of Europe. By contrast, the birth rate was much higher through the early 1980s (over 20 per thousand). Indeed, Ireland has long been seen as a demographic outlier within Europe, since its fertility rate was still moderately high when those in other European countries had fallen to near, or below, replacement level………….
continue reading

1 comment:

Connor Hale said...

This is actually a pretty neat topic. It helped a lot with an AP Human Geography project. Thanks!