Reunited Ireland Could Generate €35.6 Billion Boost For National GDP

Don’t expect the rest of the national or regional news media in Ireland to highlight this study on the positive economic implications of Irish reunification given that it runs against the consensus agreed by the petty-partitionists of the Dublin establishment and their ideological “frenemies” in political unionism. From the Irish Times:

“Political and economic unification of Ireland could potentially deliver a €35.6 billion boost in GDP for the island in the first eight years, according to a US study of reunification by two prominent academics.

The economic research, launched in New York, suggests economic unification could possibly deliver a more sizeable boost in economic output and incomes in the North, with a predicted 4-7.5 per cent long-term improvement in GDP.

The study, which involved a number of researchers led by Dr Kurt Hübner, director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia, also highlighted that the Republic would see a more modest boost of between 0.7 to 1.2 per cent in GDP per capita.

The Modelling Irish Unification study, launched at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, examines three unification scenarios, using economic models developed by Dr Renger Herman van Nieuwkoop, a professor of economics at ETH Zürich.

These models assume five key scenarios which would play out as a result of unification.

According to Dr Hübner, the results show that the Northern Ireland economy would enjoy significant long-term improvements from unification.”

A further report from the United States expands on the results of the research study:

“At an evening presentation at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan, two prominent scholars in the field of political science and economics released the findings of a landmark, first-ever economic study entitled Modeling Irish Unification, which showed significant long-term improvement in the stagnant Northern Irish economy would result from removing currency, trade and tax barriers that currently impede economic growth.

The report also showed improvements for the Republic of Ireland, which would benefit from barrier-free access to the Northern Irish market. By modeling three separate unification scenarios, the researchers showed a long-term improvement of GDP per capita in the North of 4 to 7.5 percent, while the Republic of Ireland would see a boost of 0.7 to 1.2 percent.

The report presents the first comprehensive economic models simulating the political and economic integration of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The study is particularly timely given current debates over Irish economic growth and the U.K.’s continued participation in the European Union. Three unification scenarios were presented, with the most aggressive estimating a 35.6 billion Euro boost in an all-island GDP in the first eight years of unification.

Representatives of government, the financial sector and international relations communities attended the event.

The research was led by Dr. Kurt Hubner, professor of political science, Jean Monnet Chair for European Integration and Global Political Economy and Director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Hubner directed the research through his firm KLC – Consulting for Tomorrow, an economic and political relations consulting firm based in Vancouver. The economic model was developed by Dr. Renger Herman van Nieuwkoop, Director and Founder of ModelWorks and professor of economics at ETH Zurich.

“Our modeling exercise points to strong positive unification effects driven by successful currency devaluation and a policy dependent industrial turn-around,” said Dr. Hubner. “While these effects occur in a static global economic environment, under ideal political conditions, they underline the potential of political and economic unification when it is supported by smart economic policy.”

In the executive summary, Professor Steven Raphael, UC Berkeley, wrote: “Political and economic unification of the North and South would likely result in a sizable boost in economic output and incomes in the North and a smaller boost in the Republic.”

Marcus Noland, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, provided comment on the study, writing: “Modeling Irish Unification is an important, timely examination of the economics of Irish unification, applying state-of-the-art modeling techniques to the issue at hand. The modeling work illustrates a variety of channels which are likely to be at play in the Irish case, and concludes that Irish unification would be economically beneficial to both parts of the island, especially for smaller, poorer, Northern Ireland.”

After Dr. Hubner and Dr. van Nieuwkoop’s concluded their remarks, Michael Burke, economic consultant and former Senior International Economist at Citibank in London, discussed the global impact of a unified Ireland.

“The issue of the benefits of a unified Irish economy are unfortunately largely overlooked,” said Burke. “This paper goes some way to correcting that and will help develop discussion in this neglected area.”

The study was commissioned by K.R.B., a San Francisco Bay area–based non-profit social welfare organization that promotes social welfare and conflict resolution through education.”

The full seventy-page document is titled “Modelling Irish Unification” from KLC Consulting.

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2 comments

  1. Heard on the radio this morning that I think it was the leader of the Parliament of South Korea has been in Germany.
    He addressed the German parliament and is seeking German support to re unify Korea.
    The same bulletin [ BBC: From Our Own correspondent ]
    related the tale of a civil service in south Korea having 44 members working from a dedicated building administering the provences of North Korea.
    In prepartion for unity.
    Also mentioned was an exhibition featuring parts of the Berlin Wall and making comparsions between German reunification and the potential for Korea.

    Until some of this takes place in Ireland..Then, no chance.
    It is interesting thogh that this report exists at all.
    I wonder who funded it.
    And No, I don’t expect Slugger Mac Fool or the Belfast Smell-a-graph will run with this story.

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