Here is a VOX article about my joint work with James Smith and Mark McGovern on long-run determinants of health in Ireland. Working on this and similar papers over the last few years, it has been a constant focus as to how the decisions made in one era affect the outcomes in later ones, particularly when they impact on children. Similarly, working on these topics gives a dramatic sense of how select a sample the current Irish population are, namely the ones that both survived and stayed in or returned to Ireland and a related research agenda looks at migration from Ireland, the first paper (linked here) looking at migration to England in the 20th century, with health selection being very different across the decades.
At Ireland's current stage of economic development, the obvious targets such as preventable infant mortality due to basic sanitation are no longer a policy focus. The work of my co-author on childhood mental health effects on later adult outcomes (see his IDEAS page here and UCD Ulysses lecture here) is one important direction in thinking about long-run effects of current policies. In general, the interaction between economic performance, policy and mental health is a key area (I give a brief summary on the post below).