Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Publication
    Celtic phoenix or leprechaun economics? The politics of an FDI led growth model in Europe
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-01) ;
    In this paper we argue that Ireland’s post-crisis economic recovery in Europe was driven by foreign direct investment (FDI) from Silicon Valley, and whilst this growth model was made possible by Ireland’s low corporate tax rates, it was also a result of these firms using Ireland to directly access the European labour market. We evidence this contention via sectoral and geographic analyses while simultaneously showing that Irish fiscal policies have not redistributed gains from the recovery to the broader population. As a result, the economic recovery has been most actively felt by those in the FDI sectors, including foreign-national workers from the EU and beyond. We suggest that this experience indicates that Ireland’s FDI-led model of economic development has created clear winners and losers, with significant distributional implications. The FDI growth regime been made possible by inward migration and European integration, but given the unequal distribution of the economic benefits that this generates, it is unlikely to be politically, or electorally, sustainable.
  • Publication
    Paradise Lost: The cost of removing tax and trade provisions from the Compact of Free Association
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014-01)
    Upon implementing the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the US Congress unilaterally stripped tax and trade provisions that would have encouraged investment in the Federated States of Micronesia. I quantify what was lost to the Federated States of Micronesia by arguing that the provisions would have made the Federated States of Micronesia an explicitly sanctioned tax haven through empirical estimates of the impact of tax havens on growth and a comparison of performance of similarly situated entities, the American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which did have preferential access to the US market. The estimates suggest that the Federated States of Micronesia lost from $700 million to over $1 billion in gross domestic product from 1986 to 2001.
  • Publication
    From the Great Lakes to the Great Rift Valley: Does Strategic Economic Policy Explain the 2009 Malawi Election?
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2014-02-28) ; ;
    Ethno-regional voting cleavages have featured in a number of sub-Saharan African states during the third wave of democratization following the end of the Cold War.While the causes and consequences of these cleavages are well studied, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand how strategies of pan-ethnic or pan-regional coalition building based on distributive economic policies could be employed to secure national electoral coalitions. In this paper we examine if in the 2009 Malawian parliamentary elections the newly-formed national party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by the President Binguwa Mutharika used its incumbent position to promote an economic policy based on food security in order to overcome traditional ethno-regional voting patterns and win a nationwide electoral majority. After presenting a formal model of a optimal allocation of an economic resource to overcome ethnic bias and induce vote-switching, we use district-level data in a system of equations to analyze if strategic allocation within the national fertilizer subsidy program contributed to the nation-wide electoral victory of the DPP.
  • Publication
    Aid curse with Chinese characteristics? Chinese development flows and economic reforms
    The emergence of China as a major development partner requires a reassessment of traditional donorrecipient dynamics. In addition to using new rhetoric like ”South-South cooperation” or ”Win-Win”, China has also eschewed classifications and practices of the traditional donors of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Donor Assistance Committee (DAC). Yet this ”new approach” and willful ignorance may not spare China from the same issues confronted by traditional donors. In this paper, we consider the extent to which Chinese development efforts disincentivize difficult economic reforms by providing recipient governments with a budgetry cushion. Using an instrumental variable approach with panel data covering 117 countries during the 2000-2014 period, we find that the presence of Chinese development flows, particularly those over which recipients have a high degree of discretion, inhibit broader economic reform. These findings are robust to a number of alternative specifications, data, instruments and approaches and are suggestive of an institutional aid curse ”with Chinese characteristics” as insidious as that which has plagued some traditional donor-recipient relationships.
  • Publication
    From Tiger to PIIGS: Ireland and the use of heuristics in comparative political economy
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2013-10) ;
    Acronyms for groups of countries provide an often useful shorthand to capture emergent similarities, and terms such as PIIGS, BRICs and LDCs pervade the lexicon of international and comparative political economy. But they can also lead to misleading narratives, since the grounds for use of these terms as heuristic devices are usually not well elaborated. This can become problematic when the use of such heuristics drives market responses in areas such as risk perception and changes in interest rates. In this paper we look at the narrative construction of the group of countries that has been grouped as ‘PIIGS’ (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). We examine the process whereby the group came into being, trace how Ireland became a member of this grouping, and assess the merits of classifying these countries together. Our contention is that the repetition of the acronym in public debate shaped the behaviour of market actors toward these countries. We find evidence of Granger causality, such that increased media usage of the term ‘PIIGS’ is followed by converging interest rate correlations between Ireland and the other PIIGS, compared to the interest rate correlations between Ireland and the ‘northern’ Eurozone economies. We argue that this is a pointer toward the independent effect of perceptions and discourse over economic fundamentals. We conclude with more general thoughts and cautions on the use of heuristics in comparative political economy.
  • Publication
    These Little PIIGS Went to Market: Enterprise Policy and Divergent Recovery in European Periphery
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-08-25) ;
    The 2008 financial crisis hit few places harder than the European periphery, where five states, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, came to be collectively known as the 'PIIGS'. Yet while the PIIGS experienced a similar adjustment to the crisis, the recoveries have shown significant divergence. Ireland, in particular, has stood out as a beacon of growth, not only in the PIIGS but in all of Europe. We challenge the prevailing narrative that Ireland’s exemplary performance is due to its early and ardent adaptation of fiscal 'austerity' measures. Instead we argue that Ireland’s path dependent, state-led, 'enterprise policy' situated Ireland to be a recipient of foreign direct investment driven by the low borrowing costs, brought on by the United States' Quantitative Easing (QE) programs. Using quantitative and qualitative investigation we find evidence that the latent enterprise policy mechanism – operationalized via the impact of QE on investment projects into Ireland (vis-à-vis the other PIIGS) - rather than increased wage competitiveness via austerity, accounts for Ireland’s recovery from the crisis.
  • Publication
    Aid and governance: Negative returns?
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
    Recent literature has come to little consensus on the impact of aid flows on governance in recipient countries. This article adds to the debate by developing a theoretical and empirical argument to help resolve the contradictory claims. The article suggests that the aid–governance relationship need not be linear, but rather, that aid may simultaneously improve and hinder governance. This relationship might be akin to an aid–governance 'aid dependence' Laffer curve wherein 'too much' aid can lead to counter-productive results. Inserting non-linear aid terms in established techniques for examining aid and governance reveals significant support for the potential of negative returns in aid and governance.
      530Scopus© Citations 14
  • Publication
    Europeanisation in Aid for Trade: the impact of capacity and socialisation
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016) ;
    This paper explores the extent bilateral adoption of Aid for Trade (AfT) norms in Europe is the result of a Europeanisation process. Using three case study countries (Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic) we examine the level of Europeanisation across policies, polities and politics. We highlight the roles played by socialisation and capacity within this field, which forms an important test case for the Europeanisation of development policies as it blurs the distinction between the European Union (EU)-member state shared competences of development with the EU single competence of trade. We find significant variation in both the depth and speed in adapting the EU AfT norms. Our investigation into the AfT Europeanisation process in Germany, Ireland and the Czech Republic found this variation to be a function of both capacity and socialisation with the caveat that capacity appears as a more influential explanatory factor in the depth of Europeanisation while socialisation may promote a speedier process.
      269Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Canary in the Coal Mine? China, the UNGA and the Changing World Order
    (Cambridge University Press, 2017) ;
    How China assumes its position of superpower is one of the most important questions regarding global order in the 21st century. While considerable and sustained attention has been paid to China’s growing economic and military might, work examining how China is attempting, if at all, to influence the ecosystem of global norms is in its earlier stages. In this article we examine China’s actions in an important venue for the development of global norms, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Using a unique dataset that captures how other countries move into or out of alignment with China on UNGA resolutions that are repeated over time, we find statistical evidence that China used diplomatic and economic means in an attempt to subtly alter international norms. We further illustrate these findings by examining four states that made substantive moves toward China on resolutions concerning national sovereignty, democracy, international order, non-interference, and human rights.
  • Publication
    Why do states change positions in the United Nations General Assembly?
    (Sage Publications, 2015-11-17) ;
    Many international organizations deal with repeated items on their agendas. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is no exception as many of its resolutions reoccur over time. A novel dataset on UNGA voting on repeated resolutions reveals considerable, but variable, amounts of change on resolutions by states over time. To shed light on underlying causes for voting (in)consistency, this paper draws on IR literature on negotiations and foreign policy changes to develop hypotheses on the role of domestic and international constraints. Our findings suggest that states with limited financial capacity cannot develop their own, principled, voting positions on all norms on the negotiation agenda. Consequently, these states can be more flexible in adjusting their voting position for reoccurring IO norms and are more prone to change their positions over time. Moreover, states with constrained decision-makers change position less frequently due to pluralistic gridlock. Finally, while large and rich states make a small number of purposive vote shifts, poor and aid-recipient states engage in 'serial shifting' on the same resolutions, a finding suggestive of vote-buying. The prevalence of position changes suggests that the international norm environment may be more fragile and susceptible to a revisionist agenda than is commonly assumed.
      425Scopus© Citations 18