My visit to Galway had three aims. First, I was invited to give a talk to economics staff and students at NUI Galway, and this I did last Friday. The topic I chose had to do with my work out in the Caribbean (St Kitts and Nevis) in late 2010, and it seemed to go down well, stimulating a lively discussion. I couldn't resist mentioning the pelicans, my favourite bird in the Caribbean, but mostly I talked about the 'strange' economics of a very small country - after all, St Kitts and Nevis only has just over 51,000 inhabitants, and one consequence of that is that the usual distinction we make between macroeconomics (the whole economy) and microeconomics (looking at individual firms or sectors) doesn't mean terribly much. The first picture below shows the NUI Galway Business School where my talk took place, while the second shows part of the older section of the campus, the Quadrangle.
The second aim of my visit was to work with the colleague who invited me over to Galway on a book we're editing. This is on the economies in transition (mostly Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, also a little on China), and we've invited lots of contributions from colleagues around the world, which we're now busy editing. Amazingly, most of our colleagues have been exceptionally cooperative, so we're only waiting now for a handful of late contributions. We aim to get the whole book off to the publisher in April or May, so it can come out late this year or early next.
Last, I was determined to be a tourist for part of my visit, both to look at the City of Galway (which I did in the rain), and to tour around the County to see the scenery and get to know the area, a part of Ireland I had never visited before. The tour was really interesting, with lots of open moorland, lochans, and coastal views, punctuated by small towns and villages where I could get refreshments, e.g.Clifden, a town with a history I knew nothing about - for it's the place where Alcock and Brown landed when they completed the first transatlantic flight in 1919. You live and learn, and all this certainly makes retirement a lot of fun!