Policy Briefs

The Whitaker Policy Briefs are short and informative analyses on some of Ireland’s current public policy issues that bring background and recommendations to policy-makers, journalists and the general public. The policy briefs cover a wide range of topics with emphasis on the following three research themes:

  • Business, Innovation & Economic Development
  • Public-Sector Innovation and Reform
  • Sustainable and Inclusive Societies

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A century of Irish Economic History Through the Lens of Sustainable Development

Economic historians have examined economic development in terms of output growth for decades. However, only limited research has examined economic history through the lens of sustainable development. After a century of Irish independence, our study, published in the European Review of Economic History, compares a sustainability perspective of Ireland’s economic development with the conventional growth-oriented… | Read on »

Property tax as a source of local government funding

Gerard Turley

Local governments around the world are generally funded by a combination of own-source revenues and grants/transfers from upper tier levels of government. Ireland is no different, with its local authorities funded by a mix of local taxes, fees and charges, and central government grants. The only local tax is property tax. All revenues from the… | Read on »

Labour immigration and demographic transformation: Lithuanian and Polish nationals in rural Ireland

International migration in search of employment is long-established, as Ireland’s emigration record illustrates. Immigrants usually move initially to large cities where employment opportunities are greatest. Recruitment to specific types of rural employment is also well-established internationally. Additional research on the spatial distribution of immigrant labour at a national scale is recommended to gain a better… | Read on »

Disparities in Psychological Distress Among Higher Education Students in Ireland

Psychological distress among higher education students is a growing concern, both in Ireland and internationally. As well as the personal consequences for students themselves, which can include diminished wellbeing, unhappiness, social isolation, and decreased enjoyment of life, the high prevalence of mental ill-health amongst students also has implications for the higher education sector. Poor mental… | Read on »

Creating an age-friendly environment in farming through ‘Farmer’s Yards’, a social organisation for older farmers

Globally, policy aimed at stimulating generational renewal in agriculture tends to pay limited regard to the mental health and wellbeing of the older farmer, overlooking their identity and social circles, which are intertwined with their occupation and farm. This study, in probing this contentious issue, casts its net across what could be deemed as disparate… | Read on »

Examining the spatial distribution of marine employment

In order to examine the spatial distribution of marine industry employment, the study makes use of an existing spatial microsimulation model for the general Irish population; the SMILE (Spatial Microsimulation Model of the Irish Local Economy) model. SMILE is a static spatial microsimulation model designed to simulate regional welfare, income, and labour distributions in Ireland… | Read on »

The role of economic valuation and appraisal in marine policy making

There is now high-level recognition that the UN Sustainable Development Goals can only be achieved if the decline of ecosystems and biodiversity can be halted and reversed. This will require effective control of ongoing pressures, meaningful protection and enforcement of protected areas, and significant investments in ecosystem restoration. This research explores the possible use of… | Read on »