Do Old Boys’ Clubs Make The Market More Efficient?

2 March, 2010

Companies operate in a world of uncertainty. Candidates for employment can only communicate so much information to differentiate themselves, with the result that firms search for innovative ways to identify talented graduates.

Whether you call it networking, cronyism or simply the Old Boys’ Club – using contacts and connections to obtain an edge in the job market seems necessary in today’s competitive world. Should proponents of meritocracy really condemn such mechanisms?

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Why Fees Aren’t Free

9 November, 2009

The decision by the Irish government to repeal the reintroduction of fees has been met with joy by students around the country. But ‘free fees’ promotes inefficiency and propogates inequality, by not imposing the true cost of education on students.

Those who criticised the reintroduction of fees claim that students couldn’t afford to pay them, and that access to education would be limited as a result. Unfortunately, inequality in educational opportunity may stem from differing financial conditions – but free fees does nothing to stop this. As long as wealthier families can gain an advantage through spending (either through private tuition or grind schools), they will do so.

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Big Government Ignorance

22 April, 2009

UnemployedPatricia Callan, Director of the Small Firms’ Association, recently spoke before an assembled crowd during an event at which I was in attendance. She made an extremely valid point, that the unemployed in Ireland at the moment for the most part are not lacking skills.

Rather, unemployment during difficult economic times (especially due to faltering competitiveness) can often be characterised by people signing onto the Live Register with impressive skill-sets. This is the phenomenon in Ireland currently. The problem is that these people are unable to find jobs that suit them, because companies are cutting costs and reducing expansion.

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