O'Gorman, Noel T. and Carroll Thomas A. 'The dilemma of Irish economic development: perspectives on the evolution of Ireland's public finances and economy from the early-1960's to the mid 1980's'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. XXV, Pt. IV, 1986/1987, pp127-177
Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland Vol. XXV, Pt. IV, 1986/1987
In this paper we take a broad retrospective look at aspects of the
evolution of the Irish public finances and the economy over the last 25
years or so. In particular, we attempt to rationalise that evolution in
terms of the underlying dilemma of the Irish economy as set out by Dr
Whitaker in his seminal paper entitled "Capital Formation, Saving and
Economic Progress" to this Society on the 25th of May 1956 - what he
termed the "Dilemma of poorer countries".
"Less developed countries, being at the disadvantage of starting
from a lower standard of living, find it more difficult to set aside even
the same fraction of income for capital building as the more highly
developed countries. Yet, unless they make more rapid strides in
other means of raising output, it is precisely those countries which
must set aside a relatively greater fraction if they are ever to catch up
in living standards".
This paper is essentially about the budget, meaning the financial
activities of public authorities, at an aggregate level, in the
macro-economic context. It does not set out to examine, except where
this is unavoidable or necessary to set the scene, the detail of public
expenditure or taxation which has been exhaustively examined in other
fora and publications in recent years. Neither does it look at the specific
policies which the budget plays a major part in implementing, but the
reader will, we hope, be tempted to ask whether the overall thrust of
budgetary policy in the period reviewed was compatible with the
objectives which these 'micro' policies were seeking to achieve. The
views expressed are, of course, personal views.
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