Book Chapter
Committing to Economic Openness in Ireland

The Importance of Domestic Institutional Capabilities

This paper sets out to explain the factors behind Ireland’s exceptional period of economic growth from the early 1990s to the mid 2000s. It suggests that an unbending commitment to economic openness and an on-going effort to establish quality domestic institutions were the main drivers of the so-called ‘Celtic tiger’ phenomenon. The commitment to economic openness manifested itself in the relentless search for inward investment and a willingness to accept deep forms of European integration. Building domestic institutional capabilities involved adopting new-classical macroeconomic policies, creating a robust system of social partnership and reforming the educational system. The two factors positively interacted with each other to create dynamic effects.