Papadimitriou, D., Nikiforos, M., Zezza, G., (2013), “The Greek Economic Crisis and the Experience of Austerity”, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Strategic Analysis, July 2013.
Employment in Greece is in free fall, with more than one million jobs lost since October 2008—a drop of more than 28 percent. In March, the “official” unemployment rate was 27.4 percent, the highest level seen in any industrialized country in the free world during the last 30 years. In this report, Levy Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholars Michalis Nikiforos and Gennaro Zezza analyze the economic crisis in Greece and offer policy recommendations to restore growth and increase employment. This analysis relies on the Levy Institute’s macroeconomic model of the Greek economy (LIMG), a stock-flow consistent model similar to the Institute’s model of the US economy. Based on the LIMG simulations, the authors find that a continuation of austerity policies would decrease GDP and increase unemployment. They find recent International Monetary Fund and European Commission projections for the Greek economy overly optimistic, and recommend a recovery strategy, similar to the Marshall Plan, to increase public consumption and investment—a strategy centered on an expanded direct public-service job creation program.