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It’s the Youth, Stupid! Greece’s most undervalued asset

Tsianos, V. (2014) “It’s the Youth, Stupid! Greece’s most undervalued asset“, Eurocrisis in the Press, LSE EUROPP, 07 July.


Numbers never lie. However the fashion of macroeconomic valuation has a long history of interpreting partially the truth that numbers are intended to resonate. During the last four years, statistical numbers regarding the Greek economy have been interpreted by multiple economists, international investors, and public policy decision makers. Amongst many others, the most popular numbers regurgitated by mass media are the 60% youth unemployment, the 160% debt-to-GDP ratio, the 10% deficit, and the excessive credit default swaps (CDS) spreads widening. These numbers on the country’s current economic state, along with the inverting of the demographic age distribution pyramid, has led traditional methods of macroeconomic growth research to assure investors that the Greek economy has little or negligible growth potential. As a result, the public opinion has come to a consensus: the current Greek youth is a lost generation.

National vision

Greece has never had a clear national vision for its economy, in the equivalent way that the US, Canada, Germany, Israel, or the so-called Asian Tigers countries have. Greek youth have a very high intrinsic human-capital value, and an immense potential for novel support of its entrepreneurial capacity. In this essay it is argued that Greece’s success story may be captured by a national economic vision of becoming an uprising Knowledge and Innovation Economy.


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