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THE CELTIC TIGER AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC CHANGE IN IRELAND Proinnsias Breathnach Department of Geography & National Institute for Regional & Spatial Analysis.

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Presentation on theme: "THE CELTIC TIGER AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC CHANGE IN IRELAND Proinnsias Breathnach Department of Geography & National Institute for Regional & Spatial Analysis."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE CELTIC TIGER AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC CHANGE IN IRELAND Proinnsias Breathnach Department of Geography & National Institute for Regional & Spatial Analysis National University of Ireland Maynooth Association of Geography Teachers of Ireland 35th Annual Conference Green Isle Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin 22. October 2, 2009

2 “Celtic Tiger” refers to period of high economic growth beginning in 1994 and reaching unprecedented levels Ireland compared to “Asian Tiger” economies (S Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore) which achieved similar growth rates in the late 20 th century. Annual Real GDP Growth: Ireland & EU15 (prior to recent expansion). Source: Eurostat

3 Since joining the EU in 1973, Ireland had failed to significantly close the per capita GDP gap with the EU up to the late 1980s. Ireland surpassed the EU average in 1997 and was 35% ahead of the average by However, note that per capita is not an accurate measure of living standards in Ireland as 15% of GDP leaves the country annually as profit repatriation and other payments. Per capita GDP: Ireland as % EU15 Source: Eurostat

4 Ireland’s economic development pre-Celtic Tiger What became the Republic of Ireland had little manufacturing industry when independence was achieved in The protectionist industrialisation policy introduced in the 1930s sought to make Ireland self-sufficient in terms of its industrial needs. This generated significant employment growth in the 1930s and 1940s, mainly concentrated in the Dublin region and other main urban centres. By the 1950s, the domestic market was catered for and the small size of Irish firms ruled out expansion into exports. Economic stagnation ensued causing the abandonment of the protectionist policy and the introduction of an export-oriented industrial policy in the late 1950s based on the attraction of foreign investment. The main attractions included generous capital grants and tax incentives, a cheap but well-educated labour force and, after EU entry in 1973, duty-free access to the main industrial economies of Western Europe. This led to an accelerating inflow of foreign firms, especially after The government introduced measures (such as the construction of ready-made advance factories) to disperse these firms as widely as possible throughout the country.

5 Planning regions These are the regions referred to in the following graph

6 The period witnessed a major trend towards the equalisation of each region’s share of manufacturing employment relative to population share, with the East region losing is predominant position and the western regions gaining strongly. This dispersal was facilitated by the unskilled nature of the work in most foreign firms and the fact that they made little use of local suppliers of inputs. Ratio of regional manufacturing employment share to regional population share. Source: Census of Population

7 Trends in other sectors The period saw a continuation of the established outflow of workers from agriculture which mainly affected the small-farm western regions. This period also saw rapid growth in services employment, especially in business services which were disproportionately concentrated in Dublin. Thus, despite the relocation of manufacturing employment towards the west, this was more than counterbalanced in employment terms by the loss of agricultural jobs and the disproportionated concentration of new service jobs in the East.

8 Explaining the Celtic Tiger The key driving force behind the Celtic Tiger was a major surge in the inflow of foreign investment which began in This is reflected in the growth of employment and especially value-added in foreign firms between

9 Employment in IDA-su.pported foreign firms grew by 60% between Source: Forfás

10 Value-added in IDA-supported foreign firms grew more than fourfold between in real terms (2000 prices; 1990 = 100) Value added: The difference between the value of sales and the value of material & service inputs. Source: Forfás

11 Foreign firm share (2000) Employment 9.7% GDP 31.4% Although a large proportion of the GDP generated by foreign firms leaves the country as repatriated profits, they still have a major spinoff effect elsewhere in the economy, in the form of wages and purchases, due to the large proportion of GDP which they represent.

12 Explaining the surge of inward investment Growing global shortages of workers with IT skills Rising education levels in Ireland Growing supply of skilled workers in 1990s due to 1970s baby boom 1983/ /03 Total in education934, ,000 Total in higher ed 48,000129,000 % in higher ed5.2% 14.2% Ireland was increasingly attractive as location for high-skill investment at a time of rapid growth in high-tech economic activity and adoption of new technology in existing industries. The decision (made in 1989) by Intel to locate its first overseas microchip manufacturing plant in Ireland had a major “demonstration effect” in encouraging other high-tech firms to locate here. Thus, a key feature of inward investment in the 1990s was a much higher level of skill and sophistication compared with that which had occurred earlier. This was reflected in the much higher productivity of workers in these firms (i.e. value-added per workers).

13 The period witnessed rapid growth in both employment and the average productivity of workers, but the latter accounted for less than half of the rapid rise in living standards (per capital GDP), the main factor here being a sharp drop in the economic dependency rate. This in turn was due mainly to a rapid rise (from 33% to 56%) in the proportion of women aged engaged in paid work. Workforce (m) GDP/ worker € Per capita GDP € Economic dependency rate** ,79119, ,60641, %+53.2%+114.1%-58.0% ** Economic dependency rate: The number of people not in paid employment divided by the number of people in paid employment Productivity in the Irish economy * *All values in 2006 prices Sources: Census of Population; Census of Industrial Production

14 A further major development in the 1990s was the growth of inward investment in export services. Source: Forfás Service employment as % total foreign employment

15 Between the share of total exports accounted for by services rose from under a quarter to almost one half. Note: Services exports include recorded computer media €bn (2006 prices) 24.6% 47.9% Composition of Irish exports Source: CSO External Trade Statistics

16 The main growth areas in service exports have been Business Services (mainly administrative services provided from Ireland for TNC units distributed throughout Europe), Financial Services (mainly via the International Financial Services Centre [IFSC] in Dublin, and Computer Services (mainly software, of which Ireland is now the world’s leading exporter). €bn (2006 prices) Composition of services exports Source: CSO Balance of Payments Statistics

17 Ireland’s share of global service exports has been rising strongly Source: UNCTAD Ireland’s share of global services exports

18 In value-added terms, the agricultural sector virtually dropped out of sight between , and actually was producing less at the end of the period. While the Secondary sector (manufacturing & construction) grew strongly, its share of GDP and employment fell due to the even stronger performance of the tertiary sector, which accounted for two thirds of GDP and employment in % GDP 1991 GDP change % % GDP 2006 % Empl 1991 Empl change % % Empl 2006 Primary Secondary Tertiary Sectoral change in GDP & employment Source: Census of Population

19 Administrative Regions A new set of Regional Authority regions (some of them the same as the old Planning Regions) was introduced in 1994 and is used in the diagrams and tables to follow.

20 There was strong employment growth in all regions between The Midlands’ particularly strong performance may be accounted for by the spread into this area of commuters to the Dublin area (the population census records people by where they live rather than where they work). There was partiucularly strong growth in both Secondary and Tertiary employment in the West region, more than counteracting the above- average loss of Primary employment in this region. RegionTotalPrimarySecondaryTertiary Border Midlands West East Mid West South East South West Total * Excluding “Industry not stated” Regional employment change *. Source: Census of Population

21 The wide spatial spread of employment growth in the period is reflected in the spread of population growth in this period (maps below) compared with the period (following map), although the rapid fall in the agricultural population in the west pre-1991 also contributes to the changing pattern post Population change Source: Walsh J (2007)

22 This map shows how population growth between was strongly concentrated in the Dublin region, and secondarily in the vicinity of the other main cities. Source: Walsh (2007)

23 This table shows the rapid fall in the share of employment taken by agriculture in all regions, from around 20-25% in 1991 (excepting the East region) to less than 10% in The share of the Secondary sector has remained fairly constant at around 30% (again excepting the East) while there has been strong growth in the tertiary share in all regions. By 2006 this sector accounted for over three quarters of all employment in the East. Region Prim %Sec %Tert %Prim %Sec %Tert % Border Midlands West East Mid West South East South West Total Sectoral composition of employment by region. Source: Census of Population

24 Regional distribution of employment in manufacturing and international services The following four graphs show each region’s share of manufacturing and state-supported international (i.e. export) services relative to its share of national population for 1991 and A ratio in excess of 1.0 (see black line) indicates a disproportionate employment share. Note that in these graphs, Dublin is separated from the Mid-East region where several major manufacturing plants are located. These data refer to the location of the jobs themselves, not the location of the workers’ residences, as with the Census of Population.

25 The South East, Border and Midlands regions have the biggest relative shares of indigenous manufacturing employment (with the Midlands having gained substantially in The Dublin region has the lowest share and this has been falling. Ratio of employment share to population share: Indigenous manufacturing. Source: Forfás

26 The strongest relative concentration of foreign manufacturing employment is in the Mid West region, with the West, South West and Midlands East all having gained strongly over the period, while the Border, the Midlands and Dublin have been losing out. Ratio of employment share to population share: Foreign manufacturing Source: Forfás

27 Explaining the regional trends in foreign manufacturing employment Mid West: The location of the big Dell computer plant in Limerick. This is now in the process of locating most of its manufacturing activities to Poland. Mid East: Location of the major Intel (Leixlip), Hewlett Packard (Leixlip) and IBM (Mulhuddart) plants West: Main centre for the high-growth medical devices (especially stents) industry (Galway) South West: Main location of the high-growth pharmaceuticals industry (Cork Harbour). Border: Decline and eventual closure of the Fruit of the Loom clothing operation, which once employed several thousand people in a number of locations in Donegal.

28 Combining the previous two graphs together shows quite an even relative regional distribution of manufacturing employment, with the Mid West in the strongest position and Dublin by far the weakest. Ratio of employment share to population share: all manufacturing Source: Forfás

29 This graph shows a highly-disproportionate concentration of export services employment in the Dublin region, location of the IFSC and where the software industry is strongly clustered. This sector has a particularly strong need for urban-based skills and services. While some other regions have been gaining ground, this disparity with Dublin is important given the rising role of export services in the overall economy. Ratio of employment share to population share: Internationally- traded services Source: Forfás

30 All other regions have an average disposable income (after allowing for taxes and transfers payments [e.g. welfare]) of between 80-90% of that of Dublin. All regions gained slightly on Dublin between It should be noted that Dublin residents pay a higher proportion of their incomes in taxes and received the lowest proportion of transfers, so the gap between Dublin and other regions is significantly reduced by net transfers of tax revenues from Dublin. Disp Income as % East 1995 Growth % Disp Income as % East 2006 Border Midlands West East Mid West South East South West Total65.7 Regional distribution of per capita disposable income Source: CSO National Accounts statistics

31 In 1996 Ireland moved from a position of net emigration to net immigration. Emigration fell continuously after 1999, while immigration (mainly from East Europe) rose strongly, attracted by the availability of mainly low-skill jobs in Ireland. Annual Net Emigration/Immigration. Source: CSO Demographic statistics

32 The regional spread of new immigrant workers Between , the number of immigrants in Ireland who were born in countries outside the UK and the USA (from where immigrants to Ireland traditionally came) grew almost ninefold, from 40,000 to 351,000. In other countries the historical pattern has been for unskilled immigrants to concentrate in the main urban centres, and especially the national capital. In Ireland, as the following graph shows, while there is a disproportionate concentration of immigrants from outside the UK/USA in Dublin, there is also quite a reasonable spread throughout the regions. This reflects the wide regional spread of new employment and population growth generally, and the consequent spread in demand for workers in such areas as construction, hotels, bars and restaurants in which new immigrants have been concentrated. The particularly strong growth in the relative share of the Midlands region can be attributed to overspill of commuters from the Dublin region where accommodation is very expensive.

33 Ratio of immigrant* share to population share * Refers to residents born in countries outside UK & USA Source: Census of Population

34 Other aspects of spatial change in the Celtic Tiger period

35 Growth in long-distance commuting linked to the rapidly-rising level of car ownership Source: Walsh et al (2005)

36 Workforce travelling 30+ miles to work 2001/2002 Note the particular concentration in a ring around the Dublin region, with similar rings around Galway, Limerick and Cork Source: Walsh (2007)

37 This map shows the particular concentration of long-distance commuting, in time terms, around the Dublin region, with high proportions of workers from parts of north Wexford, south Wicklow, Laois, northwest Meath and southeast Cavan spending over 90 minutes getting to work each day. Source: Walsh et al (2005).

38 Inter-urban commuting Long-distance commuting is not confined to movement from small towns and rural areas to local urban centres. There is also an increasing amount of inter-urban commuting. While the published population census volumes only list workers by where they live, new data available from the CSO for research purposes shows the actual places where people work. This is made possible via the census question which asks about where people live and work.

39 Inter-urban commuting (cont.) The following table gives an idea of the complexity of urban commuting patterns in Irish towns today. While Youghal’s population is three times that of Cashel, the number of people working in both towns is almost identical. This is partly due to the fact that a higher proportion of Cashel’s resident population is in employment (39.2% as against 29.5% for Youghal) – which may be related to Youghal attracting a significant retirement population – but mainly due to the fact that Cashel attracts almost twice as many incoming daily workers (the proportion of resident workers who work elsewhere is almost the same for both towns). In the cases of Nenagh and New Ross, the situation is reversed – these towns have almost identical populations but there are almost twice as many people working in Nenagh. This is partly because a much higher proportion of New Ross residents work elsewhere, but mainly because twice as many workers come in to work in Nenagh as come into New Ross. Killorglin is in the unusual position of having more people working in the town than actually live there, due to a strong influx of workers daily, mainly to the Fexco financial services operation in the town. In the case of Leixlip, 80% of the town’s resident workers leave the town daily to work elsewhere, while an even larger number comes into the town to work. This is because Leixlip developed as a dormitory town most of whose residents are service workers working in Dublin. The subsequent location in the town of two major industrial projects – Intel and Hewlett Packard – is the reason for the huge daily influx of workers into the town from elsewhere.

40 Employment configuration of selected towns 2006 Resident Pop 2006 Employed in town Residents working (anywhere) Residents working in town Residents working elsewhere Incoming workers Cashel2,3381, (58.5%) 3801,266 Youghal6,7851,8302,004 1,111 (55.4%) Nenagh7,7514,7322,760 1,701 (61.6%) 1,0593,031 New Ross7,7092,5432,389 1,000 (41.9%) 1,3891,543 Killorglin1,6271, (54.7%) 2321,355 Leixlip14,6767,1216,494 1,327 (20.4%) 5,1675,794

41 The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) Launched 2002 Objective: Balanced regional development Reduce overconcentration of development in the Dublin area Predicts that, under existing trends, 80% of new population growth will occur in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) between [the data presented earlier in this slide show would not appear to support this] Based on European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP): Reduce dominant position of national metropoles Encourage development of regional cities as independent centres in polycentric urban system

42 The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) Key element of NSS: Focus investment on developing a select number of provincial urban centres These to be known as “gateway” cities which will act as conduits for attracting investment to their regions Simultaneous development of “hubs” (smaller urban centres whose role in the strategy is not well explained)

43 The NSS 9 gateways In brown on the map, including Letterkenny/Derry and Athlone/Mullingar/ Tullamore as linked gateways. 8 hubs In blue on the map, including Castlebar/Ballina and Killarney/Tralee is linked hubs. Source: The National Spatial Strategy

44 Problems with the NSS The NSS is supposed to be supported by the National Development Plans (NDPs) and (which identify “balanced regional development” as core objectives), but regional objectives (including the NSS itself) have not been taken into account in NDP spending. The main element in NDP spending has been focused on improving road links between Dublin and the main provincial centres, which reinforces existing spatial trends. Proposed roads from Dundalk to Limerick and Rosslare to Sligo, which would have improved interregional links and reduced the dominance of Dublin (in line with the ESDP) have not been built.

45 Problems with the NSS (continued) Implementation of the NSS has been very slow to date. A special Gateway Development Fund – a key building block in achieving NSS objectives – was one of the first casualties of government spending cutbacks in The NSS has identified too many gateways, most of which have no chance of reaching the level of population and economic activity regarded as necessary for self-sustaining growth. This over-proliferation of gateways and the inclusion of “hub” towns of unclear purpose suggests that political considerations played a key role in fashioning the NSS. The NSS also fails to set out the measures required to develop the economic structures of the identified gateways along the lines envisaged by the strategy.

46 References cited Walsh J, Foley R, Kavanagh A, McElwain A (2005) Origins, Destinations and Catchments: Mapping Travel to Work in Ireland in Journal of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Vol, XXXV, Walsh JA (ed) (2007) People and place: a census atlas of the Republic of Ireland. National Institute for Regional & Spatial Analysis, NUI Maynooth.


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