Bryan Fanning
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Tales of two tigers
in Irish adventures in nation-building
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In Inside the Celtic Tiger: The Irish Economy and the Asian Model (1998), Denis O'Hearn argued that the few widely agreed characteristics of tiger economies were largely descriptive and superficial. Whilst Irish growth rates stood out compared to the rest of the European Union, these were modest compared to Taiwan and the other East Asian economic tigers. By the end of the 1960s, state-led industrial-development policies had emerged in both countries, which rapidly expanded levels of indigenous human capital between 1960 and 1980. There were some broad similarities between the development trajectories of the Irish and Asian tiger economies. In the Irish case, according to Sean O'Riain, a 'flexible-developmental state' emerged whereby the state encouraged corporatist planning alongside neo-liberal responses to globalisation. Unlike Taiwan, Ireland was a multi-party democracy where the state had a limited capacity to command the economy and direct the productive capacities of society.

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