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The Editors

How to Make Ireland's Miracle Economy Disappear

Ireland's statisticians have made a start.
There's less of it than you'd think.

There's less of it than you'd think.

Photographer: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Ireland's statisticians have announced that their economy is about a third smaller than previously reported. That seems like a lot to have misplaced, but the adjustment says as much about the vagaries of globalization as of statistics.

The new assessment is of a piece with last year's equally bizarre news that Ireland's output increased by 26 percent in 2015. These statistical anomalies arise from the fact that the economy is both very small and very successful in attracting foreign investment, which confounds the standard measures. They also raise a broader question: What should count as part of any country's output?