Ireland and Scotland – some high level economic comparisons

Much of the debate on putative Scottish independence strikes me, from a distance, as somewhat odd. On the independence side there is a a strong debate on what currency to use when the real issue is the ability of an independent Scotland, within or without the EU/Euro to manage its very very large banking system. On the unionist side much commentary seems to see it as inherently impossible that such a small state as Scotland could possibly thrive.

One small state that has survived is of course Ireland. It is not that different, in culture and orientation, to Scotland. If we can survive, one might ask why might not Scotland? How do the two stack up? 

Im not going to get into discussion on what the relative merits and demerits of each economy might be, here. Thats for another time. The job here is to simply ask the question  what does the comparison look like? The Eurostat site gives breakdowns of many of the macroeconomic aggregates at sub national level.

First, the composition of the Economy – where is the value added?

. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ireland
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Industry (except construction) 28% 31% 32% 29% 26% 25% 23% 23% 22% 26% 25% 27% 25%
Construction 7% 7% 7% 8% 9% 10% 11% 9% 7% 3% 2% 2% 2%
Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accomodation and food service activities 17% 15% 15% 16% 15% 16% 16% 16% 16% 16% 16% 15% 16%
Information and communication 8% 7% 6% 7% 7% 7% 6% 7% 8% 8% 9% 10% 11%
Financial and insurance activities 7% 8% 7% 9% 9% 9% 10% 10% 10% 11% 11% 9% 9%
Real estate activities 7% 7% 8% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 8% 6% 6% 7% 6%
Professional And Technical 6% 6% 6% 6% 7% 8% 8% 9% 9% 9% 9% 9% 10%
Public Admin and Health 13% 14% 14% 15% 15% 15% 15% 16% 18% 19% 18% 17% 17%
Arts and Entertainment 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%
Scotland
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 2% 2% 1% 1% 2% 1% 1%
Industry (except construction) 22% 20% 19% 18% 18% 18% 17% 17% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18%
Construction 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 8% 8% 7% 6% 7% 7% 6%
Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accomodation and food service activities 19% 20% 19% 19% 19% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 17%
Information and communication 4% 4% 5% 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
Financial and insurance activities 5% 6% 6% 7% 8% 8% 8% 9% 7% 9% 7% 7% 7%
Real estate activities 7% 6% 6% 6% 6% 6% 7% 7% 8% 7% 8% 9% 9%
Professional And Technical 8% 9% 9% 10% 10% 9% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 11% 11%
Public Admin and Health 22% 22% 22% 22% 23% 23% 23% 22% 23% 23% 23% 23% 22%
Arts and Entertainment 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4%

Second, relative to the EU average, how has GDP evolved. Note : in the Irish context GDP is and is increasingly a poor measure. It overstates the true size of the economy by about 20%. Nonetheless, it is the international benchmark.

scotirelandgdp

 

What about the technological aspects? Eurostat break down employment into a number of categories, notably High and Medium Tech manufacturing and Knowledge Intensive Services. Here is how the two compare

scotirelworlforce.png

 

When we look at the % of the workforce in Science and Engineering jobs we see the following. Note the 2010 jump is as a result of some reclassification and statistical adjustment.

3SEscotire.png

 

Despite being part of an integrated labour market, Scotland has been much less blighted by Longterm (> 12m) unemployment.

ltuescotire.png

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s