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Ireland's incredible economic success has left many countries in complete fascination.

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Introduction

Ireland's incredible economic success has left many countries in complete fascination. In foreign and finance ministries the refrain "We want to be like Ireland"1 can be heard often. The eight countries that joined the EU in May 2004, including Estonia and Slovenia, hope to follow in the fortunes of the "Celtic Tiger" and prosper fast. For this essay it is important to first look at the success that Ireland has had and then to assess the factors that created this success. Although the boom began in 1987, after seven years of poor performance, it will become clear that Ireland's success took place mainly because of the opening up of the country and stepping away from old conventions. This includes Sean Lemass's economic reforms, direct foreign investment, membership of the European Union (EU), a shift in the education system and women becoming part of the Irish workforce. Other factors that need to be considered are the influx of migrants into Ireland from the 1970s, Ireland's demographic structure and after a bleak period, in the 1980s, the fiscal reforms that restructured the economy. It may not seem that other countries can follow in the Irish footsteps however there is much they can learn. Ireland is held up as an economic model as it grew from one of Europe's worst economies to its best performing economy. One way to measure Ireland's success is through Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ...read more.

Middle

Despite the outcry from the Church this was followed by the introduction of Regional Technical Colleges and two National Institutes of Higher Education. This was one of the biggest changes ever seen in Irish history at the time. 'Between 1964/5 and 1993/4, total numbers in third level education went from 18,000 to nearly 93,000'15 The Eurostat 2003 statistics show that Ireland, at 23.2 thousand, has the largest number of Science and Technology graduates in the World16. This is the new reason for foreign companies taking an interest in Ireland. As a result of the educational change Ireland now has a skilled workforce. The ESRI holds that the changes in educational policy were of particular importance on the labour force participation of women17. There has been a dramatic increase in women's participation in the labour force. Until the 1980's women's participation in the workforce was low by international standards however today it is above average18. Women's participation has gone up because women are better educated. Fahey and Fitz Gerald suggest that around a third of the very big rise in female participation rates since 1980 is attributed to the effects of investment in education19. Therefore it can also be seen that there was an increase of women workers overall as the two thirds remaining, Fahey and Fitzgerald suggest, were not educated. Some argue that the biggest contribution to the Irish miracle came from more people working. Therefore as women increased Ireland's labour supply they played a key role in Ireland's success story. ...read more.

Conclusion

p78 14 Tom Garvin Preventing The Future- why was Ireland so poor for so long? (Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 2004) p157 15 Ibid p159 16 The Economist Survey: Tiger, Tiger, burning bright (London, Oct 16 2004, vol 373, Iss 8397) p4 17 Paul Sweeney The Celtic Tiger: Ireland's Economic Miracle Explained (Oak Tree Press, Dublin, 1998) p104 18 The Economist Survey: Tiger, Tiger, burning bright (London, Oct 16 2004, vol 373, Iss 8397) p4 19 John Fitzgerald, The Story of Ireland's Failure & Belated Success, in Brian Nolan, Philip O'Connell, and Christopher Whelan (ed), Bust to Boom? The Irish Experience of Growth and Inequality (Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, 2000) p46 20 The Economist, Green Is Good (London, May 17 1997, vol 343, Iss 8017) p21 21 John Fitzgerald, The Story of Ireland's Failure & Belated Success, in Brian Nolan, Philip O'Connell, and Christopher Whelan (ed), Bust to Boom? The Irish Experience of Growth and Inequality (Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, 2000) p30 22 Paul Sweeney The Celtic Tiger: Ireland's Economic Miracle Explained (Oak Tree Press, Dublin, 1998) p83 23 John Fitzgerald, The Story of Ireland's Failure & Belated Success, in Brian Nolan, Philip O'Connell, and Christopher Whelan (ed), Bust to Boom? The Irish Experience of Growth and Inequality (Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, 2000) p43 24 Ibid p29 25 John Fitzgerald, The Story of Ireland's Failure & Belated Success, in Brian Nolan, Philip O'Connell, and Christopher Whelan (ed), Bust to Boom? The Irish Experience of Growth and Inequality (Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, 2000) p57 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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