Economic co-operation: catalyst or conduit: A Northern Ireland perspective
Evaluates how economic co-operation can be organized for the mutual advantage of the two economies of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The methodological approach adopted by the authors explores the dynamics of market design within the two transitional economies and examines how they could contribute to the performance of an all-island economy. The emphasis is on public utilities, electricity and telecommunications as sources of inter-firm synergies. At a time when many European countries are moving towards greater integration, it is imperative that the two economies on the island of Ireland integrate in order to realize competitive advantages. Integration may not be the panacea for solving specific economic problems such as unemployment or housing shortages, however, it will solve the problem of diseconomies of small scale which impair the competitiveness of commercially oriented public utility firms on the island. The politics is not about the spoils of a united Ireland but the gains from participation in an integrated Europe. The primary objective is in realizing the economic reality of all-island commercial activities which will dissipate rents, eliminate inefficiencies, create incentives and release real economic growth.
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