Non resident scholars

Alan Ahearne

Alan Ahearne

Non Resident Fellow

Expertise: Macroeconomics and international finance. CV: Download CV

Alan Ahearne joined Bruegel as a Research Fellow in August 2005. He is a Professor and the Head of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Ireland and has served as adviser to the IMF. He is Chairman of the ESRI and Department of Finance Joint Research Programme on the Macro-economy and Taxation.

Alan served as economic adviser to Ireland’s former Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan from 2009 to 2011.

An Irish and US citizen, Alan obtained his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (in Pittsburgh) in 1998 and subsequently joined the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, where he worked as a Senior Economist for seven years.

His research at Bruegel has focused on macroeconomics, international finance and public policy, including macroeconomic adjustment in the euro area, reform of the euro area and governance of the EU, global current account imbalances, housing booms and busts, and the international experience with banking and financial crises.

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Alan Ahearne

Good deal for Ireland, but no magic bullet

The promissory note deal announced last week by the Irish government and the Central Bank of Ireland will bring benefits to Ireland’s public finances and to the country’s financial stability. As a result, Ireland’s prospects for economic recovery and its chances of emerging from its EU/IMF programme of financial assistance have improved markedly. Indeed, yields on long-term Irish government bonds are now well below those of Italy and Spain.

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 12, 2013
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Alan Ahearne

Decisive action needed to save Greece - and the euro

One way or the other, the approach of European policymakers to the Greek crisis is going to have to change radically over the next few weeks. A series of EU-IMF loans-for-reforms programmes for Greece has proven to be both economically and politically unviable. The Greek economy shrank by more than 6 per cent in the […]

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 20, 2012
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Working Paper

The debt challenge in Europe

The debt challenge in Europe

The euro area faces a double challenge: debt overhang and the need for price adjustment. This paper reviews the debt challenges in the household and corporate sectors and maps out some policy options. In particular, we document the increase in private debt prior to the crisis and consider how the corporate and household sectors have adjusted their balance sheets during the crisis.

By: Alan Ahearne and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 31, 2012
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Working Paper

Cyclical dimensions of labour mobility after EU Enlargement

Cyclical dimensions of labour mobility after EU Enlargement

At a time of symmetric global slowdown, migration cannot contribute as much to absorbing economic shocks as it could if the shock were asymmetric. Early evidence suggests that the crisis has led to a drop in immigration and even net return migration from some countries. This has helped the adjustment of former EU15 host countries […]

By: Alan Ahearne, Herbert Brücker, Zsolt Darvas and Jakob von Weizsäcker Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 31, 2009
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Alan Ahearne

Income tax rates will need to rise

In Ireland the crisis is unprecedented: the solution – a speedy, once-off adjustment – is preferable to the brutality of slowly soaring unemployment. But the public sector did not cause the problem: property did, writes Alan Ahearne. Click here to download this comment. This comment was also published in The Irish Times.

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 27, 2009
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Alan Ahearne

Banks over cautious on lending as private equity firms loom

Alan Ahearne believes that the greatest danger facing the Irish economy at the moment is having troubled banks slash lending to businesses and households. He therefore calls for a large injection of fresh capital into banks to stave off rapid deleveraging. But actions that the Irish Government needs to take to rescue the economy from […]

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: November 26, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Financial stability has yet to return to international markets

Although the crisis seems to be cooling down, Alan Ahearne warns that the turmoi is not over. The author believes the inevitable sharp slowdown in credit growth resulting from the crisis has all but guaranteed that the global economy faces a deep and prolonged downturn. Click here   to download this comment.  This comment was […]

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: October 21, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Head to Head

Should the budget contain measures to boost the Irish property market? Alan Ahearne says ‘No’, that a fall in property prices and a smaller construction sector are the tough medicine the Irish economy needs while Ronan O’Driscoll, Director of new homes at Savills Hamilton Osborne King, argues ‘Yes’. He believes that by encouraging the sale […]

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: October 4, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Banks must pay fair price for very valuable insurance policy

The charge to the banks for the Irish Government guarantee should be high to compensate for the risk the taxpayer is taking on their behalf, writes Alan Ahearne. The author raises a series of questions and concerns for the future of Irish banks. Click here   to download this comment. This comment was also published […]

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 29, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Sceptical US politicians slow to buy Paulson's $700bn bailout plan

Alan Ahearne points out the weaknesses in US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s rescue plan for the crumbling of the US financial system. Although timely and greatly needed, the author argues that the $700bn will not suffice. Click here   to download this comment. This comment was also published by The Irish Independent.

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 23, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Despite the turmoil a financial meltdown is not on the cards

In the light of the American financial crisis, Alan Ahearne raises the question "could it happen here?" and identifies the differences that make Irish banks less likely to face the same fate as their American counterparts. Click here   to download this comment. This comment was also published by The Irish Independent.

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 16, 2008
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Alan Ahearne

Courage to say No to vested interests is vital for economy

Alan Ahearne looks at the Irish housing crisis and identifies ways the Irish Government should prepare for a successful rebalancing of the economy which will require taking courageous decisions. He also gives three elements to consider before introducing schemes aimed at increasing the availability of mortgage credit. Click here   to download this comment.

By: Alan Ahearne Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 14, 2008
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