I am the holder of a BSc in International Development and Food Policy and a Masters of Economic Science, both from University College Cork. I also hold a Higher Diploma in Economic Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway. During my studies I had the opportunity to work for a number of NGOs in different countries, including a six-month internship working for a microfinance institution in rural Haiti and three months for a grassroots organisation in Punjab, India. In both instances I worked on monitoring and evaluating projects. After completing my masters, I worked for the county council in Kerry. My position was as a graduate economist working within the economic development unit. A large part of my role here was research orientated. I used census data to create socio-economic profiles of towns in Kerry. I also worked on public consultation by surveying residents of towns to create proposed actions for local area plans. After a brief stint as a data analyst for KPMG I joined the RurAction project.
My research project
Work package 1: Challenges and dynamics of structurally weak regions
Dynamics of rural regions in Europe – an economic investigation
I am currently based at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland working on a project entitled “Dynamics of rural regions in Europe – an economic investigation”. This project is divided into three research questions:
1) What are the regional disparities across Europe, specifically among rural regions and within the seven RurAction countries? What is the trend over time? The goal of this question is firstly to examine the regional disparities across Europe and how these disparities have changed over the period 2000-2014. The project will then analyse specifically disparities among rural regions. This will show us how disparities among rural regions have been changing over time i.e. are we seeing an increase in polarisation among rural regions. The next step will be to emulate the above but for each of the seven RurAction countries. This will highlight which of the RurAction countries have been more successful in decreasing regional disparities, especially among rural regions.
Question 2) What socio-economic characteristics lead to regional parity within countries and economic growth for rural regions? Firstly, this will look at factors at the national level that determine regional parity, especially for rural regions. It will then look at characteristics at the regional level to see what are the characteristics that lead to strong growth in some rural regions. Some of the factors that will be analysed will include: human capital, infrastructural capital, institutions, social capital, geography and culture.
Question 3) How have rural regions responded to the recent crisis? There is a growing literature on the resilience of regions and how cities have responded to the crisis. This literature often looks at the factors that lead to resilience in city economies and structural change caused by recessions. However, there is a lack of research into the factors that lead to resilience in rural regions. The goal of this question is to highlight how rural regions have responded to the crisis to see if some rural regions were more resilient to the crisis than others. If so, the research will look at the possible factors that lead to resilience among rural regions.