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The Democratization of Rent Seeking in Greece

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  • Thomas Moutos
  • Lambros Pechlivanos

Abstract

We describe the evolution of the power struggle in Greece among key economic and political stakeholders, who have tried, via strategic positioning and rent-seeking activities, to influence economic policy outcomes during the postwar decades. We split the postwar decades in three periods: the catching-up period, the overt populism period of 1973-1993, and the 1993-2008 of stealth populism. In each period, we identify the important players to see how they managed to forge a sustainable wining coalition, and to understand how they shaped policies. The three periods vary substantially in terms of the inherent degree of economic inefficiency they brought about; the first one was characterized by a concentration of rent-seeking mainly among the economic and political elite, whereas the middle period exemplifies the “democratization” of rent-seeking. The middle period’s proliferation of rent seeking received some legitimacy by large segments of the population due to widespread, and often ideological, perceptions of long-lasting unfairness in the distribution of economic and political power. The covert populism of the last period used an unsustainable expansion of foreign borrowing to allow for an intensification of rent seeking while providing a semblance of fiscal rectitude.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4331.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4331

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Related research

Keywords: rent seeking; democratization; populism; political economy; power struggle; history; Greece;

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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Why Doesn't Capitalism Flow to Poor Countries?," NBER Working Papers 13164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  3. Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2013. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Working Papers 474, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Thomas Moutos & Christos Tsitsikas, 2010. "Whither Public Interest: The Case of Greece's Public Finances," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(2), pages 170-206, June.
  6. Tsakalotos, Euclid, 1998. "The Political Economy of Social Democratic Economic Policies: The Pasok Experiment in Greece," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 114-38, Spring.
  7. Katsimi, Margarita & Moutos, Thomas, 2010. "EMU and the Greek crisis: The political-economy perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 568-576, December.
  8. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2009. "The social cost of rent seeking in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 280-299, September.
  9. Psacharopoulos, George & Papakonstantinou, George, 2005. "The real university cost in a "free" higher education country," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 103-108, February.
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