Ireland: from economic change to institutional change 'A study after the changes in the institutional characteristics of the Irish economy and its typification as a capitalist economy though the decades'
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Ireland is one of the countries that made a huge economic development during the last half of the 20th century. Ireland transformed from a self-supporting, agricultural economy to a high-tech, liberal and open market economy. In this thesis the characteristics of the Ireland's economy are analyzed according to 2 leading theories in the field of varieties of capitalism: Amable and Hall and Soskice. It is done so for three periods: up until 1959, from 1960-1987 and from 1987 till 2008. The credit crunch is not taken into account. For these periods, the characteristics of Ireland’s economy are analyzed according to 5 institutional areas mentioned in the theories and matched to a type of capitalism. In the end continuities and changes in these characteristics are analyzed and explained. Generally, institutions change slowly. However, in an open-market economy changes and innovation are normal and even stimulated, also in the institutional areas. Since Ireland has become a liberal and open-market economy during the last 6 decades, one would expect that its institutional characteristics are also more adaptable to (sudden) changes of its environment and therefore develop together with the economy. In this thesis I show and explain the discrepancy that occurred between the overall economic development and the development of the characteristics within the institutional areas of the Irish economy.