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ESRI Publish Second Paper of DETE ESRI Joint Research Programme

Date: 15 February 2024 

In October 2021, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment entered into an agreement with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to embark on a joint research programme, titled “The Productivity Challenge and Its interaction with Climate, Digitalisation and Human Capital”. Productivity is hugely important as it is the driver of economic growth in the longer term, and as such is key to improvements in living standards, associated with growing and sustainable wage levels, good public services, and improved wellbeing. The Chair of the NCPC, Dr Frances Ruane, is a member of the Steering Committee for this joint research programme.

Today, 15 February 2024, the ESRI have published the second working paper as part of the joint research programme titled “Entrepreneur Characteristics and Determinants of Self-Employment Across Europe” which has been co-authored by Dermot Coates (Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment) and Martina Lawless (ESRI). This paper suggests that entrepreneurs and small businesses are an important driver of economic growth. The authors examine the prevalence of entrepreneurship across Europe and characteristics of those who become entrepreneurs. The authors place a particular focus on the distinction between opportunity and necessity motivations for becoming self-employed.

The results in this paper published today notes that one of the most significant barriers to entrepreneurship across Europe is lack of access to finance – although this is noticeably lower in Ireland. The research also finds that when examining the characteristics of the self-employed, participation rates for women and those in younger age cohorts are significantly lower than for other groups. The authors also suggest that considerations related to personal finances are amongst the main difficulties encountered in being self-employed.

The outputs from the joint research programme provide valuable evidence that will inform the Department and the NCPC’s analysis of productivity issues and will assist in identifying productivity-enhancing reforms and interventions.


The working paper can be found here.


Further details can be found on the ESRI website here.