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Ulster Since 1600Politics, Economy, and Society$
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Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.001.0001

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Business and Labour since 1945

Business and Labour since 1945

Chapter:
(p.291) 18 Business and Labour since 1945
Source:
Ulster Since 1600
Author(s):

Graham Brownlow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.003.0019

The economic performance of Northern Ireland since 1945 is considered in its broader UK and European context. In general, unemployment was considerably higher, and incomes per head generally much lower, than the UK average. The region never achieved full employment and missed out on the ‘golden age’ of economic growth in Western Europe between 1950 and 1973. The 1970s were a particularly disappointing decade and the economic fragility discussed in earlier chapters is reaffirmed for the later twentieth century. Brownlow considers it ‘implausible’ to attribute Northern Ireland's relatively poor performance to the ‘Troubles’ and looks instead to institutions, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity. Above all, the region's dependence on the public sector in the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries stands out. Deindustrialisation and the growing importance of the public sector were reflected in the region's trade union membership and pattern of industrial relations.

Keywords:   Northern Ireland, economic growth, institutions, innovation, entrepreneurship, productivity, unemployment, dependence, de-industrialization

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