First published in 1999, this timely study emerged at a critical juncture for the EU and Ireland, and aimed to review the past development and future prospects of the Northern Ireland economy in the light of the European Union and its possible expansion. Esmond Birnie and David M.W.N. Hitchens examine the economic circumstances in the wake of Northern Ireland's longstanding position as a region which lags behind UK performance in the EU. Here, they update the data and discussion contained in an earlier study by the authors, Closing the Productivity Gap (1990), through discussions including engines of growth, the process of convergence and the current and likely development of Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland economic links. This book will be of use to both academics, undergraduates, A-level students and the general reader.