Working Papers

  1. Estimating spending multipliers in Ireland using the narrative approach
    (Author: Elliott Jordan-Doak; published August 2023)
    This paper looks at Ireland’s fiscal multipliers using a new dataset on government spending shocks from 1987 to 2019. The paper tries to remove the effect of policy changes being anticipated and the effects of the business cycle using the so-called “narrative approach”. Using several approaches, it finds that public spending shocks in Ireland have had limited statistically significant impacts on output.

  3. Demystifying Ireland’s national income: a bottom-up analysis of GNI* and productivity
    (Author: Kevin Timoney; published June 2023)
    This paper looks to develop a clearer picture of what makes up modified gross national income (GNI*) — a measure that is now widely accepted as a relevant measure of the size of Ireland’s economy. We work from the bottom up, exploring how to build up the overall measure based on easier to understand components using the expenditure, income, and output approaches. We also explore what this tells us about productivity in the Irish economy. We find that evidence that Ireland’s productivity growth is better aligned with European countries than other measures suggest.

  5. Understanding Ireland’s Top Corporation Taxpayers
    (Author: Brian Cronin; published June 2023)
    Ireland’s corporation tax receipts are highly concentrated among a handful of large, foreign-owned multinationals. This paper seeks to better understand this concentration. It makes two main contributions. First, it draws on publicly available financial statements to develop an extended list of corporate groups who are likely to be among the highest taxpayers in Ireland. Second, it develops a number of different approaches to estimate how much corporation tax each group might pay in Ireland. The results underline just how concentrated corporation tax receipts are in Ireland.

  7. Saving for Ireland’s Future: Building a Sustainable Framework to Fund the State Pension
    (Authors: Killian Carroll and Sebastian Barnes; published March 2023)
    This paper puts forward an alternative approach to funding Ireland’s State Pension. Ireland’s population is ageing rapidly. This will put increasing pressures on the State Pension in the years to come. This paper finds that moving to a system where the PRSI rate is set at a constant rate to finance the pension system over the long term rather than year-by-year would avoid the need for larger increases in PRSI rates in the future. This would reduce the burden on future taxpayers.

  9. Estimating Ireland’s Probability of a Recession
    (Authors: Eddie Casey and Niall Conroy; published February 2023)
    This paper explores ways to predict future recessions in Ireland. It makes three key contributions. First, it assesses multiple potential indicators, including news articles and Google searches. Second, a mixture of domestic and international variables, such as the US Term Spread, are shown to perform well as recession predictors for Ireland. Third, the value of surveyed expectations of employment prospects is shown in out-of-sample estimates.

  11. The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council at 10 Years
    (Authors: Sebastian Barnes and Elliott Jordan-Doak; published September 2022)
    This paper provides both a survey of the contributions made by the Council and its work performed over the 10 years since its establishment, along with an overview of how fiscal and economy policymaking has evolved in Ireland over this period.

  13. Free State to Tax state: A century of taxation in

    (Author: Killian Carroll; published April 2022)
    This paper constructs a new dataset of tax rates and tax bands for the main tax headings in Ireland from 1920-2019. It documents the changes and trends in Irish tax policy over the past century and explores how tax policy responded to changes in the cycle.

  15. Managing Government Debt at High Altitude: Velocity, Instability and Headwinds
    (Authors: Sebastian Barnes, Eddie Casey and Elliott Jordan-Doak; published March 2021)
    This paper looks at the debt dynamics associated with current conditions of low interest rates—lower than growth rates—and high debt ratios. We look at some of the implications for Ireland and selected OECD economies.

  17. The Role of Elasticities in Forecasting Government Revenue
    (Author: Niall Conroy; published February 2021)
    This paper examines the role of elasticities in forecasting government revenue. Results indicate that using policy-adjusted elasticities yields significantly improved forecasts of government revenue.

  19. Maq: A Macro-Fiscal Model for Ireland
    (Author: Eddie Casey and David Purdue; published February 2021) 
    This paper sets out the design of “Maq”: a macro-fiscal model for Ireland. The Maq can be applied to stochastic debt sustainability analysis—a sophisticated analytical technique for assessing the sustainability of public debt—as well as other policy analyses.

  21. Forecasting Ireland’s Macroeconomy: A Large Bayesian VAR Approach
    (Author: Killian Carroll; published September 2020)
    This paper develops a forecasting model of the Irish macroeconomy using a large Bayesian Vector Auto-Regression (VAR) model. We show that large Bayesian VARs can be a useful tool in forecasting Ireland’s macroeconomy.

  23. When gravity hits: projecting Ireland’s migration
    (Author: Ainhoa Osés Arranz; published December 2019)
    This paper projects Ireland’s migration flows up to 2050 based on new data on international migration and novel econometric techniques in the context of migration modelling.

  25. Estimating Ireland’s Tax Elasticities: A Policy-Adjusted Approach
    (Author: Niall Conroy; published June 2019)
    This paper estimates the elasticities of three government revenue headings, while adjusting for tax policy changes. This is done using a new dataset, yielding more accurate estimates.

  27. The Current Account, a Real-Time Signal of Economic Imbalances or 20/20 Hindsight?
    (Authors: Niall Conroy and Eddie Casey; published March 2019)
    This paper examines the current account as a signal of economic imbalances in the economy. Specifically, it examines whether or not real-time estimates of the current account give similar signals to revised estimates.

  29. Ireland’s Spending Multipliers
    (Authors: Kate Ivory, Eddie Casey, and Niall Conroy; published January 2019)
    This paper estimates government spending multipliers for Ireland. It contributes to the literature by using: (1) measures of economic activity that remove distortions caused by foreign-owned multinational enterprises, and (2) a number of statistical approaches so as to sense-check the multiplier estimates derived.

  31. Nowcasting to Predict Data Revisions
    (Author: Eddie Casey; published October 2018)
    This Working Paper explores a way to use Nowcasting as a technique to predict data revisions.

  33. Designing a Rainy Day Fund to Work Within the Fiscal Rules
    (Authors: Eddie Casey, Niall Conroy, Kevin Timoney, and Ainhoa Osés Arranz; published June 2018)
    This Working Paper examines the role of countercyclical “Rainy Day Funds”. It explores how such funds can be used (i) to address procyclical bias in measurements of the cycle, which underpin the EU fiscal rules; and (ii) to enhance the scope for fiscal stimulus in future downturns while also making it more desirable to set aside savings in good times. Drawing on existing mechanisms, it outlines an approach that could integrate such a fund with little need for major changes to the current EU fiscal framework.

  35. Estimating Ireland’s Output Gap
    (Author: Eddie Casey; published January 2018)
    This Working Paper explores a number of ways to estimate an output gap that is relevant for Irish fiscal policy.

  37. Producing Short-Term Forecasts of the Irish Economy
    (Authors: Niall Conroy and Eddie Casey; published May 2017)
    This working paper describes the short-run forecasting models used by the Secretariat for producing its own Benchmark macroeconomic projections as part of the endorsement process and for the purposes of its ongoing monitoring and analysis of the Irish economy.

  39. An Analysis of Tax Forecasting Errors in Ireland
    (Authors: Andrew Hannon, Eimear Leahy and Róisín O’Sullivan; published September 2015)
    This paper examines tax revenue forecasting performance of the Department of Finance over the period 1997–2014.

  41. Uncertainty in Macroeconomic Data: The Case of Ireland
    (Authors: Eddie Casey and Diarmaid Smyth; published March 2015)
    This paper examines revisions to Irish quarterly macroeconomic data focusing on growth rates of real GDP as well as the main expenditure components. It highlights the considerable uncertainties not only about where the economy is going but also where it has been.

  43. The Government’s Balance Sheet after the Crisis: A Comprehensive Perspective
    (Authors: Sebastian Barnes and Diarmaid Smyth; published September 2013)
    This working paper presents a comprehensive overview of the Government’s financial position. The paper looks at the evolution of Government financial assets and liabilities since the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

Other research papers

  • Strengthening Ireland’s Fiscal Institutions
    (published January 2012)The report assessed elements of the fiscal framework proposed in the Department of Finance’s March 2011 discussion document Reforming Ireland’s Budgetary Framework and contained recommendations for the design both of a set of fiscal rules and a permanent independent fiscal council.

  • Fiscal Rules for Ireland
    (Author: Robert Hagemann; published 2012)