Economics at NUI Galway provides a flourishing and diverse academic environment which integrates teaching and research, theory and empirical applications, in a policy-oriented and interdisciplinary way. There are approximately 1,800 undergraduate students of economics across several colleges, but mainly in the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law and in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences.


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Prestigious Dr Mary L Thornton scholarship awarded to NUI Galway economics PhD student

Prestigious Dr Mary L Thornton scholarship awarded to NUI Galway economics PhD student-image

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Sharon Walsh, a PhD student in economics at NUI Galway and Hardiman Scholar, under the supervision of Dr. John Cullinan, was recently awarded a prestigious scholarship by the National University of Ireland (NUI). The Dr Mary L Thornton Scholarship is awarded annually to support research in the field of education and will be used to fund part of Sharon’s PhD research which will use a discrete choice experiment to examine student preferences for higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ireland. This work will involve surveying 600 students in secondary schools across Ireland in order to examine how students value the attributes of different HEIs in their choice of institution. This is the first such study to be conducted in Ireland and the scholarship will assist greatly in conducting the research.

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Award for marine economics student

Award for marine economics student-image

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Aishling Callaghan receives the Marine Institute Award from Marine Institute Director Caroline Bocquel. The Marine Institute Award, which is worth €1000, is sponsored by the Irish Marine Institute and is awarded to the final year student who attains the highest mark in the final year module Marine Economics at NUI Galway, which is taught by Dr Stephen Hynes.  

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Events (seminars, conferences etc.)

Postgraduate economics student research on display at NUI Galway

Postgraduate economics student research on display at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

As part of their assessment for two postgraduate econometrics modules, students from the MSc Health Economics, MA/MEconSc Natural Resource Economics and Policy and 1st Year PhD (Economics) programmes at NUI Galway recently presented their research at an Applied Econometrics Poster Session orgainsed by Dr John Cullinan and Dr Paddy Gillespie.  In total there were 14 posters on a variety of topics (see below), all of which involved the application of a limited dependent variable (LDV) econometric model to a research question of relevance/interest to the student.  One of the aims of the session was to give students the experience of partaking in a conference style poster session.  Each student gave a short presentation of their work and fielded questions from staff and their peers.  By presenting their work in poster form, students had to consider how to summarise and translate their research findings and conclusions in a clear, concise and imaginative way. Posters Aisling Murphy – Does Having Private Health Insurance Increase the Risk of Having an Elective Caesarean in Ireland? Anthony Cawley – The Decision to Participate in Agricultural Extension Services Brian Leonard – The Factors Affecting the Presence of a Farm Successor Derek O’Boyle – Loneliness, Clinical Factors and Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults in Ireland: An Ordinal Logistic Regression Approach Ed Knapp – Economic Viability and Environmental Subsidies in the 2012 National Farm Survey Eoin McGurk – Determinants of Farmer Participation in Rural Environmental Protection Schemes Helen O’Donnell – The Impact of Caring for Sick Children on the Self Rated Health of Irish Mothers John Deely – The Effects of an Aging Farmer Population on Environmental Practises in Ireland John Joseph Cunningham – The Most Beautiful Game: Identifying the Match Characteristics that are Associated with Goals in Soccer Matches Kieran O’Hanlon – The Value of Marine and Leisure Based Activities in Ireland: A Travel Cost Model Padraic Ward – The Determinants of GP Utilisation for the Over 50s Population in Ireland Phoebe Balkin – The Determinants of Healthcare Costs of Irish 9 year olds Ricky Conneely – The Farm Characteristics Effecting Off-Farm Employment Suzanne van Osch – Estimating  the Irish Public's Willingness to Pay for Sustainably Produced Salmon   For more information on postgraduate programme in Economics at NUI Galway see here.

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NUI Galway launches the Health and Wellbeing Survey

NUI Galway launches the Health and Wellbeing Survey-image

Friday, 13 March 2015

NUI Galway launches the Health and Wellbeing Survey Led by Professor Ciaran O’Neill, a group of researchers based at NUI Galway’s School of Business and Economics have been funded by the Health Research Board to undertake research aimed at improving our understanding of a number of health-related issues, including healthcare costs and service quality. Health and Wellbeing Survey One of our studies, the Health and Wellbeing Survey, seeks to establish the preferences of Irish people for different health states relative to each other: what matters most to Irish people? Every day, decisions are being made on how to best use our limited healthcare resources. This study is being carried out to provide better information on which these decisions can be based. Members of the general public in Ireland are being asked to help with this study. Our researchers are currently visiting randomly selected households across the country, inviting members of the public to contribute their opinions to this important work by taking part in our Health and Wellbeing Survey – we want to find out the different views of Irish people regarding health and illness. What is the aim of the survey? This survey aims to establish how Irish people compare health states that impact on different domains or areas of health.  We are interested in five domains of health: mobility, self-care, pain, anxiety and the ability to undertake usual activities (work, study, housework, pastimes, etc.). A health state describes how an individual experiences life, in and across these different domains. So, for example, a health state might be described with phrases like No problems walking about and Slight problems with performing my usual activities – and so on. Will this research lead to any change in our healthcare system? From this study, we hope that a clearer understanding of the preferences of Irish people for different health states relative to each other will emerge and also that we establish a better picture of what factors underlie differences in these valuations between people. From the information we collect in the survey, we aim to generate preference weights that will be available to those undertaking evaluations of new technologies, so that decisions made will reflect Irish-specific preferences for different health states. When considering whether to adopt a new technology, including new drugs, policy makers weigh up the costs and benefits of new technologies relative to those, for example, in current use. Benefits in evaluations of this type are generally expressed in terms of the impact the new technology has on health. As different technologies may have very specific effects we need common points of comparison – such as the impact of the new technology on mobility, self-care, pain etc. – to evaluate different technologies relative to each other. This survey we are undertaking will allow us to make such comparisons, based on the views we have collected from Irish people. It will also allow us to explore how these preferences compare with results from similar exercises undertaken in other countries, for example in the UK, China, Indonesia, Poland, Denmark and Italy. This will allow us to establish if preferences for different health states are different in different countries, and if so why this might be the case: might it be to do with cultural differences in how for example dependence is viewed, or perhaps might it depend on what supports are available in different countries to people impacted by ill-health in different ways? Taking part in the Health and Wellbeing Survey If your house is one of those randomly chosen, we will be delighted if you take time to complete the Health and Wellbeing Survey. Our research team Three of our research team are currently conducting the survey: 2015-03-Research Team For more information, please email: or call 091 492866

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Masters in international finance students win-- again!

Masters in international finance students win-- again!-image

Friday, 6 March 2015

In front of a panel of leading financial services professionals, a student team from NUI Galway retained the prestigious CFA Society Ireland 'Global Investment Research Challenge' title. Having won the competition in 2014 analysing Ryanair, this year's team took home the trophy with their analysis of Kingspan. The Challenge offers students a unique hands-on opportunity to learn stock market research and analysis skills from industry experts and to compete with peers from the world’s top finance programmes. The NUI Galway team comprised four students from the M.Econ.Sc. International Finance degree and one B.Comm. student. They saw off competition from University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and Queens University Belfast. The NUI Galway team now proceeds to the European Middle-East Africa (EMEA) finals in Amsterdam in early April.   For more information on the M.Econ.Sc. International Finance Programme see here.

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Agricultural economics and policy course to help future of Irish food

Agricultural economics and policy course to help future of Irish food-image

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

In an article in the Irish Examiner of Tuesday, 24th February 2015, Joe Dermody writes about the Agricultural Economics and Policy course offered as part of the M.Econ.Sc. Natural Resource Economics and Policy programme at NUI Galway; and the participation of both NUI Galway and Teagasc economists in its delivery to provide an opportunity for the students to see how agricultural economists use the economic tools to answer real world agricultural policy questions.   He writes: Agri-economic studies can help underpin the sustainability of Irish food production, say the creators of a new course at NUI Galway. The Agricultural Economics and Policy course, offered as part of the Natural Resource Economics and Policy Masters, is designed to develop the analytical modelling skills of economics graduates for employment in private and public sector enterprises concerned with the environment, agriculture, food, fisheries, and other marine resources. The course will be delivered jointly by NUI Galway and Teagasc economists. Lecturers will include Teagasc economists Thia Hennessy, Trevor Donnellan, and Kevin Hanrahan of the Athenry-based Rural Economy and Development Programme. Course director Stephen Hynes of NUI Galway said: “Given that agriculture and food is a key element in the Irish economy and natural resource management is vital for the continued development of the sector it is important that we have students coming through with the tools to analyse the impact of policy and impact of possible environmental changes on the sector. “The participation of the Teagasc economists in the delivery of the course is a great opportunity for the students to see how agricultural economists use the economic tools, learnt during the course, to answer real world agricultural policy questions.” The new course analyses how public policy relates to Irish agriculture, climate change policy, CAP reform, and global economic impacts. The Masters course begins again in September with application due by end of June. For more information the M.Econ.Sc. Natural Resource Economics & Policy Programme see here See media coverage of this article (Irish Examiner)

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Alan Ahearne to chair ESRI/Department of Finance research group

Alan Ahearne to chair ESRI/Department of Finance research group-image

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics at NUI Galway, has been appointed Chairman of the steering committee governing the newly launched Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Department of Finance Joint Research Programme on the Macro-economy and Taxation. Under the programme – the objective of which is to undertake and disseminate research on various macroeconomic and taxation issues in Ireland - researchers from the ESRI will work alongside officials from the Department of Finance on various research projects.  The programme will run for two years. Research topics are likely to include:  research on aspects of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting initiative; analysis of FDI spillover effects; research on UK-Ireland macroeconomic links in the context of joint membership of the EU; analysis of petrol and diesel markets in Ireland; and macroeconomic and tax modelling.  All research will be published. The joint collaboration between the Department and the ESRI was announced by the Minister for Finance at the Department’s conference on International Taxation and Economic Growth last October. Further details of the programme are available here.

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Vacancy for Research Assistant in Health Economics

Vacancy for Research Assistant in Health Economics-image

Friday, 16 January 2015

Research Assistant in Health Economics  We have been asked to prepare a cost of illness study for a particular illness in Ireland.  The objectives of the study are Estimate the full direct costs of the illness for the Irish health care system, including the cost of diagnosis, treatment and the associated complications.  Direct costs will include any screening or testing treatment and management, including primary care, secondary care, drugs, etc., as well as any complications Estimate the societal costs of the illness in Ireland in relation to the loss of productivity as a result of increased mortality and morbidity associated with the illness as well as any costs associated with carers. The work will include Literature search and review; Identification and assessment of the available data sources; Model the costs including estimates of future cost burden.  The project will take 12 weeks and the gross pay will be €450 per week.  If you are interested please email a CV to Brendan Kennelly ( by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 19th. Interviews will be held at NUI Galway on January 23rd.

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Economics timetables for Semester II

Economics timetables for Semester II-image

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Timetables for Semester II 2014/15 i.e., beginning 12th January 2015, are now online: View timetables Note that in particular, the 3BA1 (Economics) timetables  have been revised from versions made available last September, and that these changes carry through to 4BA1 etc. However, there are no changes to earlier versions of the timetables for 1BA1 (Economics) and 2BA1 (Economics). There have also been some revisions to timetables for  taught postgrad programmes, i.e. for: M.Econ.Sc. Economic Policy Evaluation & Planning - Year 2 (part-time) M.Sc. Health Economics - Year 1 (part-time) M.Sc. Health Economics (full-time) M.Econ.Sc. Natural Resource Economics & Policy M.Econ.Sc. International Finance H.Dip.Econ.Sc. Stream A H.Dip.Econ.Sc. Stream B For details, see: Timetables and other current student information. Enquiries to

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New book: "The Economics of Disability - Insights from Irish Research"

New book:

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A new book,  "The Economics of Disability - Insights from Irish Research", co-edited by Dr. John Cullinan of Economics at NUI Galway, and published by Manchester University Press, brings together research relating to the economics of disability in Ireland. It addresses a range of issues of relevance to the economic circumstances of people with disabilities, considering topics such as social inclusion, poverty, the labour market, living standards and public policy. It also considers issues of specific relevance to children, working-age adults and older people with disabilities, providing important evidence that can help improve disability policies, services and supports. Each chapter presents a clear and relatively non-technical treatment of the specific topic under consideration, making it accessible to a greater number of interested readers. In doing so, it provides an important addition to our knowledge and understanding of the economics of disability and will serve as a useful and up-to-date resource for a range of interested parties both in Ireland and internationally.  More details here

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Pricing healthcare conference at NUI Galway

Pricing healthcare conference at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group at NUI Galway organised a very successful conference on ‘Pricing Healthcare: The role of health economics evaluation in the emerging healthcare landscape in Ireland’ in the Aula Maxima on November 4, 2014. In any healthcare system dominated by public expenditure a critical question arises as to what healthcare should be provided. There are a host of competing demands across disease areas, across care levels, across population groups and across social classes. All of them have strong arguments that the particular intervention that they advocate should be funded. But resources are limited so the question arises as to how should a society decide on which particular elements of healthcare should be prioritized? This was the key question addressed at the conference which was jointly organised with Novartis one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. The conference featured presentations from leading health economists in the UK and Ireland as well as contributions from the main stakeholders in the healthcare sector such as the pharmaceutical industry, clinicians, and private health insurance companies. The conference was also addressed by representatives from the key decision making agencies in Ireland in this area such as the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the National Centre for Pharmaeconomics (NCPE). The Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group, which comprises about twenty academics, researchers and PhD students, conducts a wide range of research and has particular expertise in disease areas such as dementia, cancer, diabetes, stroke and mental health. The group works closely with clinical researchers in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and elsewhere and with leading health economists around the world. For more information about the conference please contact Brendan Kennelly at Health Economics and Policy Analysis Group  

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New project on social impacts of aquaculture

New project on social impacts of aquaculture-image

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Stephen Hynes of Economics at NUI Galway and SEMRU (Socio-economic Marine Research Unit) at NUI Galway attended the kick-off meeting for the AquaAccept project in Stavanger, Norway on the 13th and 14th of April 2015. The project is funded through the Norwegian Research Council and its main objective is to investigate the social acceptability of impacts of aquaculture on marine coastal systems. As well as SEMRU at NUI Galway, the other main partners on the project are the International Research Institute of Stavanger and the Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR Ancona). See also: SEMRU at NUI Galway

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Head of Economics

Prof Alan Ahearne

Contact Economics

t:+353 91 492501/492177