The Economic History Review

The Irish economy during the century after partition

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Authors: Cormac Ó Gráda, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
Published online: August 16, 2021DOI: 10.1111/ehr.13106

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This article provides a centennial overview of the Irish economy in the one hundred years following partition and independence. A comparative perspective allows us to distinguish between those aspects of Irish policies and performance that were unique to the country, and those which mirrored developments elsewhere. While Irish performance was typical in the long run, the country under-performed prior to the mid-1980s and over-performed for the rest of the twentieth century. Real growth after 2000 was slow. The mainly chronological narrative highlights the roles of convergence forces, trade and industrial policy, and monetary and fiscal policy. While the focus is mostly on the South of the island, we also survey the Northern Irish experience during this period.