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When Small States Make Big LeapsInstitutional Innovation and High-Tech Competition in Western Europe$
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Darius Ornston

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450921

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450921.001.0001

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A Low-End Producer in High-Tech Markets: Economic Adjustment in Ireland

A Low-End Producer in High-Tech Markets: Economic Adjustment in Ireland

(p.126) 5 A Low-End Producer in High-Tech Markets: Economic Adjustment in Ireland
When Small States Make Big Leaps

Darius Ornston

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Ireland, which also relied on neo-corporatist bargaining to facilitate entry into new high-tech industries. Despite being more specialized than Denmark in high-tech industries during the 1990s, Ireland relied on activities that were less knowledge intensive. As a result, it was more sensitive to cost competition. After the dot com crash, Ireland's inability to construct a more durable comparative advantage in high-tech industries rendered the country more dependent on nontradable services to support income and employment growth. The subsequent housing crash and banking crisis led to the steepest economic downturn of any country in western Europe. Although Ireland successfully retrenched public spending at the height of the crisis, disinvestment threatens to exacerbate its status as a low-end producer in high-tech markets.

Keywords:   Ireland, high-tech industry, corporatism, neo-corporatist bargaining, economic policy

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