Occasional research

This page covers the Council’s occasional research work.

The Fiscal Council has several forms of occasional research outputs:

  1. Working Papers
  2. Long-term Sustainability Report: supporting research series
  3. Analytical Notes
  4. Datasets
  5. Boxes
  6. Conferences and presentations

Working Papers

Estimating spending multipliers in Ireland using the narrative approach
Elliott Jordan-Doak, August 2023

Demystifying Ireland’s national income: a bottom-up analysis of GNI* and productivity
Kevin Timoney, June 2023

Understanding Ireland’s Top Corporation Taxpayers
Brian Cronin, June 2023

Saving for Ireland’s Future: Building a Sustainable Framework to Fund the State Pension
Killian Carroll and Sebastian Barnes, March 2023

Estimating Ireland’s Probability of a Recession
Eddie Casey and Niall Conroy, February 2023

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council at 10 Years
Sebastian Barnes and Elliott Jordan-Doak, September 2022

Free State to Tax state: A century of taxation in

Killian Carroll, April 2022

Managing Government Debt at High Altitude: Velocity, Instability and Headwinds
Sebastian Barnes, Eddie Casey and Elliott Jordan-Doak, March 2021

The Role of Elasticities in Forecasting Government Revenue
Niall Conroy, February 2021

Maq: A Macro-Fiscal Model for Ireland
Eddie Casey and David Purdue, February 2021

Forecasting Ireland’s Macroeconomy: A Large Bayesian VAR Approach
Killian Carroll, September 2020

When gravity hits: projecting Ireland’s migration
Ainhoa Osés Arranz, December 2019

Estimating Ireland’s Tax Elasticities: A Policy-Adjusted Approach
Niall Conroy, June 2019

The Current Account, a Real-Time Signal of Economic Imbalances or 20/20 Hindsight?
Niall Conroy and Eddie Casey, March 2019

Ireland’s Spending Multipliers
Kate Ivory, Eddie Casey, and Niall Conroy, January 2019

Nowcasting to Predict Data Revisions
Eddie Casey, October 2018

Designing a Rainy Day Fund to Work Within the Fiscal Rules
Eddie Casey, Niall Conroy, Kevin Timoney, and Ainhoa Osés Arranz, June 2018

Estimating Ireland’s Output Gap
Eddie Casey, January 2018

Producing Short-Term Forecasts of the Irish Economy
Niall Conroy and Eddie Casey, May 2017

An Analysis of Tax Forecasting Errors in Ireland
Andrew Hannon and Róisín O’Sullivan, September 2015

Uncertainty in Macroeconomic Data: The Case of Ireland
Eddie Casey and Diarmaid Smyth, March 2015

The Government’s Balance Sheet after the Crisis: A Comprehensive Perspective
Sebastian Barnes and Diarmaid Smyth, September 2013

Long-term Sustainability Report: supporting research series

Nº1 What Climate Change means for Ireland’s Public Finances

Analytical Notes

Ireland’s spending rule and the third wave of the EU’s fiscal rules
Eddie Casey and Brian Cronin, June 2023

Ireland’s modified domestic demand: what it tells us and where we should be cautious
Eddie Casey, May 2023

Household Consumption and Savings in Ireland Since the Covid-19 Pandemic
Kevin Timoney, November 2022

Potential impact of Commission on Taxation and Welfare proposals
Eddie Casey, November 2022

A Bottom-Up Sectoral Assessment of the Strength of Income Tax Receipts
Kevin Timoney, May 2022

Historical Public Spending in Ireland: An Experimental Dataset
Brian Barbieri and Gemma Bewley, April 2022 Link to datasets

The path for Ireland’s health budget
Eddie Casey and Killian Carroll, November 2021

Ireland’s next ramp-up in public investment
Niall Conroy, Eddie Casey and Elliott Jordan-Doak, November 2021

Estimating Ireland’s Budgetary Semi-Elasticities
Killian Carroll, July 2019

A “Heat Map” for Monitoring Imbalances in the Irish Economy
Kevin Timoney and Eddie Casey, September 2018

Challenges Forecasting Irish Corporation Tax
Eddie Casey and Andrew Hannon, September 2016

Public Capital: Investment Stocks and Depreciation
Andrew Kennedy June 2016

Controlling the Health Budget: Annual Budget Implementation in the Public Health Area
John Howlin, August 2015

The EU Expenditure Benchmark: Operational Issues for Ireland in 2016
April 2015

Adoption of New International Standards for National Accounts and Balance of Payments
Eddie Casey, November 2014

Future Implications of the Debt Rule
John Howlin, June 2014

DIRT Forecast Methodology
Andrew Hannon, June 2014

Tax Forecasting Error Decomposition
Andrew Hannon, June 2014

Sensitivity Analysis of the Department of Finance Approach to Potential Output Estimation under the EC Methodology
John Howlin, June 2014

House Price Risks
Eddie Casey, June 2014


The Council has produced a number of datasets over the years that may be of use to researchers.

Please cite the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council or corresponding authors if you use any of these datasets.

Data related to each of the Fiscal Assessment Reports are shown in the respective publication pages.

    Narrative Approach Spending Shocks Dataset

    This dataset provides time series on spending shocks using the “narrative approach”. The approach used to develop the dataset is set out in an accompanying working paper.

    Long-Run Tax Dataset (2022 Update)

    This dataset provides long-run estimates of a number of tax heads for Ireland.

    Policy-Adjusted Tax Dataset

    This dataset provides a number of “policy-adjusted” measures of various revenue sources. The dataset and associated working paper (Conroy, 2019) can be found at:

    Free State to Tax state: A century of taxation in Ireland

    Long-Run Tax Rate and Tax Band Dataset

    This dataset provides detail on Ireland’s tax rates and bands that applied since 1922. The link to the associated working paper (Carroll, 2022) is also included below:

    Historical Public Spending in Ireland: An Experimental Dataset (Analytical Note)

    Finance Accounts Dataset

    Appropriation Accounts Dataset

    These datasets represent an experimental long-run central government spending dataset for Ireland. The associated Analytical Note is Barbieri and Bewley, (2022).


    In each of the Fiscal Council’s key publications, we include topical “boxes” covering economic or fiscal issues. These are self-contained analyses unique to the publication in which they appear.

    Fiscal Assessment Report (FAR) boxes

    FAR June 2024 Box A: Where will additional construction workers come from?

    FAR June 2024 Box B: How narrow is Ireland’s tax base

    FAR June 2024 Box C: Potential windfalls from Data Protection fines

    FAR June 2024 Box D: Reinforcing the National Spending Rule

    FAR June 2024 Box E: What rate should the National Spending Rule be set at?

    FAR June 2024 Box F: Substantial EU fiscal rule reforms come into place

    FAR Dec 2023 Box A: The inflationary impact of Budget 2024 tax cuts

    FAR Dec 2023 Box B: Revisions to Irish consumption data

    FAR Dec 2023 Box C: What does “core” and “non-core” mean?

    FAR Dec 2023 Box D: Fiscal gimmickry strikes back

    FAR Dec 2023 Box E: Are health pressures predictable?

    FAR Dec 2023 Box F: What is happening Ireland’s corporation taxes?

    FAR Dec 2023 Box G: Ireland’s green transition can be managed

    FAR Dec 2023 Box H: The Future Ireland Fund

    FAR Dec 2023 Box I: The Infrastructure, Climate and Nature Fund

    FAR Dec 2023 Box J: The latest developments towards EU fiscal rules reform

    FAR June 2023 Box A: Recent developments in the ICT and pharmaceuticals sectors

    FAR June 2023 Box B: Auto-enrolment and the savings ratio

    FAR June 2023 Box C: Forecast errors point to inconsistencies in the fiscal forecasts

    FAR June 2023 Box D: Windfall corporation tax receipts flattering the public finance

    FAR June 2023 Box E: New fund could be a landmark reform

    FAR June 2023 Box F: Updated reform proposals to the EU fiscal rules

    FAR Nov 2022 Box A: Changing consumer habits pose risks to forecasts of inflation

    FAR Nov 2022 Box B: Recent trends in public health sector staffing

    FAR Nov 2022 Box C: Adjusting the general government balance for excess corporation tax receipts

    FAR Nov 2022 Box D: Ireland’s Reserve fund is restored but needs rethinking

    FAR Nov 2022 Box E: Potential reforms to the EU fiscal rules

    FAR May 2022 Box A: Household income and Macro-Fiscal (in)consistency

    FAR May 2022 Box B: A bottom-up assessment of income tax forecasts across sectors

    FAR May 2022 Box C: Fiscal impacts of Ukrainian humanitarian spending

    FAR May 2022 Box D: The Stand-Still approach and the Government’s medium-term spending estimates

    FAR May 2022 Box E: The impact of inflation on government revenue

    FAR May 2022 Box F: Recent increases in cash balances

    FAR May 2022 Box G: Exchequer has benefited from some €22 billion excess corporation tax

    FAR May 2022 Box H: Auto enrolment could have significant macro and fiscal implications

    FAR May 2022 Box I: Inflation and the Government’s 5% Spending Rule

    FAR Dec 2021 Box A: The impact of the pandemic on the composition of the workforce and compensation of employees

    FAR Dec 2021 Box B: Modelling inflation in Ireland

    FAR Dec 2021 Box C: Department of Finance now making greater use of GNI* when assessing budgetary sustainability and real economic activity

    FAR Dec 2021 Box D: Pensions Commission recommends substantial reforms to ensure sustainability of the pension system

    FAR Dec 2021 Box E: Implications of a spending rule on the structural balance

    FAR May 2021 Box A: Excess household savings could substantially boost economic activity

    FAR May 2021 Box B: Higher productivity is an artefact of the pandemic

    FAR May 2021 Box C: The impact of warehousing on tax receipts

    FAR May 2021 Box D: The resilience of income tax in 2020

    FAR May 2021 Box E: The Government’s new climate change targets need clear costings

    FAR May 2021 Box F: Corporate tax reforms could reduce revenues

    FAR May 2021 Box G: EU Funds will add to the State’s resources

    FAR May 2021 Box H: Irish debt fares reasonably well on a fiscal standards assessment

    FAR May 2021 Box I: A bottom-up assessment of Ireland’s structural primary balance

    FAR Dec 2020 Box A: BEPS Reforms of International Tax Rules

    FAR Dec 2020 Box B: What the Government’s medium-term strategy should do

    FAR Dec 2020 Box C: The regional impact of Covid-19 on Ireland’s domestic economy

    FAR Dec 2020 Box D: Updated Macroeconomic Scenarios to 2025

    FAR Dec 2020 Box E: Covid-19 Support Measures

    FAR Dec 2020 Box F: Seasonal Adjustment of Exchequer Tax Revenues

    FAR Dec 2020 Box G: Policy Measures and Fiscal Scenarios

    FAR Dec 2020 Box H: Covid-19, the structural balance, and one-off/temporary measures

    FAR Dec 2020 Box I: Making the domestic fiscal rules more relevant

    FAR May 2020 Box A: The economic shock depends on how Covid-19 evolves

    FAR May 2020 Box B: Fiscal supports cushion the economic impact of Covid-19

    FAR May 2020 Box C: Prospects for consumer spending could be better than in official forecasts

    FAR May 2020 Box D: Three Macroeconomic Scenarios to 2025

    FAR May 2020 Box E: Forecasting real GNI* growth rates in place of GDP and GNP

    FAR May 2020 Box F: Policy measures introduced since the Covid-19 outbreak

    FAR May 2020 Box G: Experience of Falling Revenues in the 2008 Crisis

    FAR May 2020 Box H: Half of corporation tax receipts explained by domestic economy

    FAR May 2020 Box I: Policy Measures and Fiscal Scenarios

    FAR May 2020 Box J: Net debt and contingent liabilities

    FAR May 2020 Box K: Exceptional Circumstances and the General Escape Clause

    FAR Nov 2019 Box A:The Department should improve its general government accounting

    FAR Nov 2019 Box B: Contributions to the Rainy Day Fund suspended before they start

    FAR Nov 2019 Box C: The Department of Finance’s proposals to address corporation tax risks

    FAR Nov 2019 Box D: Characterising downturns in Ireland’s domestic economy

    FAR Nov 2019 Box E: How well do consumer and business sentiment correspond to real economic activity?

    FAR Nov 2019 Box F: Using a Large Bayesian VAR for short-run forecasting of Ireland’s macroeconomy

    FAR Nov 2019 Box G: Current primary spending is the main driver of spending drift in recent years

    FAR Nov 2019 Box H: The impact of Brexit on the public finances assumed in Budget 2020

    FAR Nov 2019 Box I: Health overruns in recent years: magnitude and main drivers

    FAR Nov 2019 Box J: Assessing the discretionary revenue measures introduced in Budget 2020

    FAR Nov 2019 Box K: The way health spending is reported can lead to different conclusions about its performance

    FAR Nov 2019 Box L: What are Approved Housing Bodies?

    FAR Nov 2019 Box M: Using GNI* star to assess compliance with the Expenditure Benchmark

    FAR Nov 2019 Box N: Fiscal vulnerabilities – assessing compliance with the Department of Finance’s suggested alternative fiscal rules

    FAR June 2019 Box A: Sustainable Growth

    FAR June 2019 Box B: Dealing with the Economic and Fiscal Impact of Surging Corporation Tax Receipts

    FAR June 2019 Box C: Fiscal Impacts of Hard Brexit Scenarios

    FAR June 2019 Box D: Reforms to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

    FAR June 2019 Box E: Deriving Forecasts for Modified Gross National Income and the Modified Current Account

    FAR June 2019 Box F: Capital Project Overruns in Ireland

    FAR June 2019 Box G: Sources of Revenue Surprises Over Recent Years

    FAR June 2019 Box H: Corporation Tax Concentration and Volatility

    FAR June 2019 Box I: Forecasting Tax Revenue a Reassessment of Elasticities

    FAR June 2019 Box J: An Assessment of Ireland’s Compliance with the Fiscal Rules for 2018 under EU Methods

    FAR June 2019 Box K: The Uncertainty in assessing Compliance with the Fiscal Rules

    FAR Nov 2018 Box A: Measuring Government Stimulus Using Net Policy Spending

    FAR Nov 2018 Box B: Demographic Change and Public Finances

    >FAR Nov 2018 Box C: Underlying Measures of the Irish Economy

    FAR Nov 2018 Box D: Health Overruns

    FAR Nov 2018 Box E: Fiscal Rules under Department of Finance’s Alternative Output Gap Estimates

    FAR Nov 2018 Box F: Introductory Guide to the Debt Rule

    FAR June 2018 Box A: The Duration of Cycles: Death by Illness, Not by Age

    FAR June 2018 Box B: The Appropriate Size of the Rainy Day Fund

    FAR June 2018 Box C: Impact of a Large, Foreign-Owned Multinational Firm Exiting Ireland

    FAR June 2018 Box D: New Alternative Supply-Side Estimates

    FAR June 2018 Box E: The Evolution of the Public Finances since Budget 2015

    FAR June 2018 Box F: Approved Housing Bodies

    FAR June 2018 Box G: Capital Expenditure and the National Development Plan

    FAR June 2018 Box H: Compliance with the Fiscal Rules Before the Crisis

    FAR June 2018 Box I: The Medium-term Orientation of the Fiscal Framework

    FAR Nov 2017 Box A: Rainy Day Fund

    FAR Nov 2017 Box B: “Strong and Stable” — The Procyclicality of the CAM

    FAR Nov 2017 Box C: Challenges in Assessing the Equilibrium Household Savings Rate in Ireland

    FAR Nov 2017 Box D: Modelling Goods Exports

    FAR Nov 2017 Box E: Problems with the Commonly Agreed Methodology as Applied to Ireland

    FAR Nov 2017 Box F: Examining the Quality of Discretionary Tax Measures

    FAR Nov 2017 Box G: Plans for Public Investment Spending

    FAR Nov 2017 Box H: Ireland’s Public Debt Burden

    FAR Nov 2017 Box I: The Council’s Assessment of the Preventive Arm

    FAR June 2017 Box A: Standard Debt Ratios and a 45 Per Cent Target

    FAR June 2017 Box B: Fan Charts for Components of GDP and Employment

    FAR June 2017 Box C: Potential Output, Overheating and the Department’s Commitment to Developing Alternatives to the Commonly Agreed Methodology (CAM)

    FAR June 2017 Box D: Macroeconomic Indicators for Ireland and Multinational Activities

    FAR June 2017 Box E: Spending Reviews

    FAR June 2017 Box F: Public Capital and Investment Expenditure

    FAR June 2017 Box G: The Council’s Stand-Still Medium Term Expenditure Scenario

    FAR June 2017 Box H: One-Off/Temporary Measures Relevant to 2016 Assessment

    FAR June 2017 Box I: Medium Term Expenditure Ceilings

    FAR Nov 2016 Box A: The Evolution of the Budgetary Process

    FAR Nov 2016 Box B: Brexit Latest Indicators and Possible Implications for the Irish Economy

    FAR Nov 2016 Box C: the Disproportionate Impact of Corporation Taxes

    FAR Nov 2016 Box D: Fiscal Council Stand-Still Expenditure Scenario

    FAR Nov 2016 Box E: Assessment of Compliance with the Budgetary Rule

    FAR Nov 2016 Box F – What is Fiscal Space

    FAR Nov 2016 Box G – Implications of 2015 GDP Outturn for Fiscal Rules

    FAR June 2016 Box A: A Programme for a Partnership Government

    FAR June 2016 Box B: Rainy Day Funds

    FAR June 2016 Box C: Contributions to Growth, Headline vs. Underlying

    FAR June 2016 Box D: Medium-Term Budgetary Frameworks and Expenditure Forecasts

    FAR June 2016 Box E: Medium-Term Expenditure Scenario

    FAR June 2016 Box F: The Update to Ireland’s Medium Term Objective (MTO)

    FAR June 2016 Box G: Introductory Guide to the Preventative Arm and the Budgetary Rule

    FAR Nov 2015 Box A: Alternative Potential Output Estimates and a Modular Approach

    FAR Nov 2015 Box B: Use of Alternative Output Gap Measures by EU Finance Ministries

    FAR Nov 2015 Box C: Health Expenditure in 2015 and Implications for Future Expenditure

    FAR Nov 2015 Box D: Corporation Tax in 2015

    FAR Nov 2015 Box E: Illustrative Medium -Term Expenditure Scenario

    FAR Nov 2015 Box F: Setting Fiscal Rules in the Preventative Arm of the SGP

    FAR June 2015 Box A: Contract Manufacturing in 2014

    >FAR June 2015 Box B: Towards More Relevant Measures of Potential Output

    FAR June 2015 Box C: Decomposition of Forecast Errors (An Update)

    FAR June 2015 Box D: Statistical Treatment of Irish Water

    FAR June 2015 Box E: Assumptions for Illustrative Medium-Term Budgetary Objective (MTO)

    FAR Nov 2014 Box A: What are Income Data Telling Us?

    FAR Nov 2014 Box B: Estimates of Car Sales

    FAR Nov 2014 Box C: Weaknesses in 2013 Real GDP

    FAR Nov 2014 Box D: Treatment of One-off and Temporary Measures

    FAR June 2014 Box A: Sectoral Productivity and Changes in the Composition of Employment

    FAR June 2014 Box B: A Closer Look at General Government Deficit Forecast Errors

    FAR June 2014 Box C: Revisions to Structural Balance Estimates for 2013

    FAR Nov 2013 Box A: The Endorsement Function and The Memorandum of Understanding

    FAR Nov 2013 Box B: Forecasts on a “Most Likely” Basis – The Meaning of The Budget Projections

    FAR Nov 2013 Box C: Annual GDP Growth and Carryover Effects

    FAR Nov 2013 Box D: The Dynamics of Balance Sheet Recessions

    FAR Nov 2013 Box EA: Impact on Forecasts Of Budget Moving To October

    FAR Nov 2013 Box F: The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework

    FAR Nov 2013 Box G: Incentive Challenges in Public Expenditure Management: The Soft Budget
    Constraint and The Ratchet Effect

    FAR Nov 2013 Box H: The Medium-Term Budgetary Objective (MTO)

    FAR Nov 2013 Box I: The EU Expenditure Benchmark

    FAR Apr 2013 Box A: A Decomposition of Forecast Errors

    FAR Apr 2013 Box B: Department of Finance One-Year-Ahead Tax Forecasts

    FAR Apr 2013 Box C: Impact of The Promissory Note Announcement on the Government Accounts

    FAR Apr 2013 Box D: Current Expenditure Ceilings

    FAR Apr 2013 Box E: The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council

    FAR Apr 2013 Box F: Identifying the Appropriate Medium Term Fiscal Stance:
    Some Considerations

    FAR Apr 2013 Box G: Battle of The Multiplier Boxes

    FAR Sep 2012 Box A: Measures of Output: GDP and GNP

    FAR Sep 2012 Box B: Banking Related Revenues in the Exchequer Data

    FAR Sep 2012 Box C: A Hybrid Measure of Fiscal Capacity

    FAR Sep 2012 Box D: Fiscal Rules set out in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill

    FAR Apr 2012 Box A: Forecasts for VAT from Budget 2012

    FAR Apr 2012 Box B: Fiscal Implications of the Promissory Notes

    FAR Apr 2012 Box C: Self-Defeating Fiscal Adjustment

    FAR Oct 2011 Box 2.1: Irish Growth Forecasts

    FAR Oct 2011 Box 3.1: Cyclically Adjusted Balances and the Output Gap

    FAR Oct 2011 Box 3.2: Fiscal-Feedback Model

    FAR Oct 2011 Box 4.1: The Real Effects of Austerity

    Pre-Budget Statement (PBS) Boxes

    PBS 2022 Box A: Official forecasts of the domestic economy are not consistent with the Government’s fiscal plans

    PBS 2022 Box B: The Government’s new spending rule is welcome but needs work

    PBS 2022 Box C: Higher investment helps address priorities but could be costly