At The Margin
#29: Econ. History & COVID-19; Measuring Sustainability - Dr. Eoin McLaughlin (UCC)
Season 2, Ep. 17
Today I am joined by Dr. Eoin McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer at UCC. Eoin’s work has covered economic history and environmental sustainability. We discuss how his research on the Spanish flu can help us better understand COVID death counts and how his work on Irish land bonds can better help us understand the recent debate surrounding Eurobonds/Coronabonds.
We also discuss ways to measure welfare through time while taking sustainability into account.
Please check out the patreon at patreon.com/AtTheMargin if you want to help keep things going. As you know, this is a self-funded venture. I had to pay some of the hosting bills last week and the patreon softened the blow so thanks a million to all the patrons for helping!
#47: Can onerous form-filling have economic consequences? Administrative Burdens - Lucie Martin (UCD)
Season 5, Ep. 2
I am joined by Lucie Martin, PhD candidate at University College Dublin, to discuss administrative burdens. If I were to distil administrative burdens into a single sentence it would be the burden created by onerous form-filling or other administrative tasks. We all know the pain that comes with having to fill out yet another form or go through a seemingly unnecessary administrative process, but the research by Lucie and others suggests that this can create barriers for many to access certain benefits or services. Lucie takes us through the mechanisms of how this plays out. This is one of those great podcast topics. It is something that I was previously unaware of but when the concept was explained to me, I found it instantly relatable and wanted to find out more. I hope you share the same enthusiasm!
#46: Gender Wage Gap in Ireland - Dr. Karina Doorley (ESRI) & Prof. Donal O'Neill (Maynooth University)
Season 5, Ep. 1
Welcome to a new set of episodes put together in conjunction with the Irish Society for Women in Economics (ISWE).In this first episode we discuss the gender wage gap in Ireland. I am joined by Karina Doorley of the ESRI and Donal O’Neill of Maynooth University. Both have looked at various aspects of the participation of women in the Irish workforce and also the differences in wages and earnings between men and women. Karina has charted the evolution of the gender pay gap in Ireland, while Donal and colleagues at Maynooth - Aedín Doris and Olive Sweetman - have explored the evolution of earnings after childbirth. We discuss these issues and more in this episode. If you enjoyed listening, please subscribe and tell your friends! Check out ISWE at the following address: https://www.iea.ie/irish-society-for-women-in-economics-iswe/
#45: Are Electricity Markets Fit For Purpose?
Season 4, Ep. 5
Energy prices are on everyone's mind lately since the Ukranian conflict began. Electricity markets have come under fire at a European level with Ursula von der Leyen saying they are no longer fit for purpose. Presumably this comment is in reference to the fact that wholesale electricity markets operate by setting the price at the cost of the most expensive unit to generate at a given moment. This guides good decision making, but has the side effect of creating windfall profits in extraordinary times such as this. So the key question is - is there a way to reduce these windfall profits for firms, transfer those returns or economic rents to consumers, be it through a transfer or changes in prices? There are many options but all may interfere with the efficient operation of the market and create unintended consequences. One key point about electricity markets is that they are complicated and a good market brings on the right generation at the right time. This is really important for short-term efficiency but also in the long run. One example of a potential unintended consequence is in relation to decarbonisation - we need the right portfolio of wind and renewables, but also storage and flexible generation to operate when wind is idle. A good market will find the best mix for us, adjustments to the market must minimise the likelihood of interfering with this. So that's the problem facing European decision-makers right now. In this episode I am joined by Bram Claeys, Senior Advisor with the The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), which is an independent, global NGO advancing energy policy innovation. This group have reviewed the potential options to solve this energy market conundrum, and have put forward some proposals of their own which we will discuss.