Conor O'Toole

Associate Research Professor

Dr Conor O’Toole is an Associate Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute. He previously held the position of Manager – Real-Financial Linkages Team and Senior Economist at the Financial Stability Division of the Central Bank of Ireland. At the Central Bank of Ireland, Conor worked extensively on macroprudential policy issues with specific focus on the mortgage market. He also worked on broader issues regarding the surveillance of household and corporate financing vulnerabilities. Conor was a member of the European Central Bank’s Macroprudential Policy Group Taskforce on Operationalising Macroprudential Research. The group aimed to produce a common set of tools that can be harmonised across Eurozone members to understand the impact of macroprudential measures. He was also a member of the Central Bank of Ireland’s Taskforce on Crowdfunding and the Taskforce on Mortgage Interest Rate Pricing and Structure as well as representing the Central Bank on the Government SME State Bodies Group. Conor was the founding Editor of the Central Banks’ Household Credit Market Report.

Before joining the Central Bank, Conor worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the ESRI and as an economist for IBM's Global Centre for Economic Analysis, London Economics and Indecon Economic Consultants. He also worked as a PhD researcher at the United Nations University —World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland. He holds a PhD in Economics from Trinity College Dublin. Conor’s main research expertise is in household finance, macroprudential policies in the housing market as well as access to finance and the financing of small-and medium-sized enterprises. However, he has a broader expertise in areas relating to the interaction of finance and the real economy, international investment, applied microeconometrics of banking, stresstesting households and corporates and financial crises and macro-financial stability. He also works in the area of international development finance.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in the Review of Finance, Journal of Financial Stability, Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Corporate Finance, the Journal of International Development, the Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economics, Food Policy, Journal of Globalisation and Development and the Economic and Social Review. His research on investment financing in East Asia has been published in a recent VOX e-book on Understanding Banks in Emerging Markets (Ed. Beck, De Haas, Ongena).

In his current role, Conor will have responsibility for research on housing and household financing, enterprise development and corporate finance and banking. This will include research on access to finance issues and understanding financial vulnerabilities. He will also contribute to the ESRI’s macroeconomic forecasting group as a contributing author to the Quarterly Economic Commentary. It his previous role at the institute, Conor worked on a number of research projects in the area of financing SMEs including work for the Irish Ministry of Finance on bank credit access for Irish firms. He was a co-author on the European Competitiveness Report 2014 Chapter on Access to Finance and Firm Growth completed for EC DG Enterprise and Industry.