Assessing the risks of economic inequality; the impact on societal wellbeing and economic development

Dr Nat O’Connor (Ulster) Economic inequality is rising in the developed world and influential research has found major risks to economic growth and population health; including OECD reports, IMF working papers, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and the UK’s ‘Marmot Review’. Nobel economist Robert Shiller has called it “The most important problem that we are … Read more

Options for public debt management

Dr Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos (OU) Austerity policies in the wake of the 2008 global financial meltdown have left a host of developed capitalist economies struggling with very high levels of sovereign indebtedness. Given that prospects for economic growth still remain anaemic, and that financial risks have not been completely eliminated, the recovery process is slow … Read more

Unlocking Benefits and Opportunities through Social Infrastructure

Dr Sharon McClements, Prof Martin Haran and Mr Andrew McErlane (Ulster) Research has established that social infrastructure provision positively influences economic growth and social development, and a review of historical spending in NI indicates an identified need to upgrade and replace social infrastructure. Yet, as the UK Government continues to implement its austerity policies, the … Read more

Competitiveness Scorecard for NI

Mr Richard Johnston and Miss Laura Heery (Ulster) Competitiveness is a key driver in the rate of economic growth and living standards. Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC) developed the Competitiveness Scorecard on behalf of the Economic Advisory Group, taking a similar approach to the Republic of Ireland’s National Competitiveness Council. The Scorecard benchmarks NI’s … Read more

How should NI respond to Corporation Tax cuts in ROI and GB?

Dr Gareth Campbell (QUB) The Fresh Start Agreement committed the NI Executive to reducing the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland to 12.5% from 2018. The intention was to make the tax rate in NI the same as in ROI, and lower than in GB. However, within the past year the Irish government has cut … Read more

Opportunity Brexit? Institutional Economic Implications for Northern Ireland

Dr Graham Brownlow (QUB) The vote for Brexit has created a situation where economic policy, to a certain extent, is developing faster than textbook theory. Northern Ireland’s economic predicament is a combination of UK-wide processes, more intense forms of UK-wide problems and processes unique to the region. The speed, sequence and ‘architecture’ of regional economic … Read more

Exploring Consumers’ Quality Perceptions of Local NI Food & Drink Produce

Miss Rachel Malcolmson (Ulster) The Northern Ireland (NI) agri-food industry faces significant challenges in re-building consumer confidence in the quality and authenticity of food/drink products. However, increasing demand for authentic, high quality produce, paired with a renewed sense of food patriotism, presents new growth opportunities for local and artisan food/drink products to be promoted for … Read more

NI Skills barometer: Developing skills for tomorrow’s economy

Mr Mark Magill (Ulster) This presentation addresses the widespread consensus on the value of skills both to the individual as well as the wider economy. It highlights how qualitative evidence from employers identifies skills shortages in a number of key sectors and occupations across the Northern Ireland (NI) economy. However, it notes the gap in … Read more

How can the NI economy become more competitive in the 21st century global economy?

Prof Rob Gilles (QUB) The Northern Ireland (NI) economy competes in an increasingly complex global setting. Since 2007 the global economy seems to be in a perpetual state of volatility. This presentation addresses how recent developments in economics can help understand how businesses and economies compete in this global setting and how these insights can … Read more