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The Analytics of the Greek Crisis

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  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
  • Thomas Philippon
  • Dimitri Vayanos

Abstract

We provide an empirical and theoretical analysis of the Greek Crisis of 2010. We first benchmark the crisis against all episodes of sudden stops, sovereign debt crises, and lending boom/busts in emerging and advanced economies since 1980. The decline in Greece’s output, especially investment, is deeper and more persistent than in almost any crisis on record over that period. We then propose a stylized macro-finance model to understand what happened. We find that a severe macroeconomic adjustment was inevitable given the size of the fiscal imbalance; yet a sizable share of the crisis was also the consequence of the sudden stop that started in late 2009. Our model suggests that the size of the initial macro/financial imbalances can account for much of the depth of the crisis. When we simulate an emerging market sudden stop with initial debt levels (government, private, and external) of an advanced economy, we obtain a Greek crisis. Finally, in recent years, the lack of recovery appears driven by elevated levels of non-performing loans and strong price rigidities in product markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Thomas Philippon & Dimitri Vayanos, 2016. "The Analytics of the Greek Crisis," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 100, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:100
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    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:59-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Petroulakis, Filippos, 2017. "Internal devaluation in currency unions: the role of trade costs and taxes," Working Paper Series 2049, European Central Bank.
    4. Monokroussos, Platon & Thomakos, Dimitrios, D. & Alexopoulos, Thomas A., 2016. "The determinants of loan loss provisions:an analysis of the Greek banking systemin light of the sovereign debt crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68586, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Chalari, Athanasia & Sealey, Clive & Webb, Mike, 2016. "A comparison of subjective experiencesand responses to austerity of UK andGreek youth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68585, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Philippe Martin & Thomas Philippon, 2017. "Inspecting the Mechanism: Leverage and the Great Recession in the Eurozone," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1904-1937, July.
    7. Sophie Piton, 2018. "Do Unit Labor Costs Matter? A Decomposition Exercise on European Data," 2018 Meeting Papers 1072, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Kougias, Konstantinos, 2017. "‘Real’ flexicurity worlds in action: evidence from Denmark and Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Jaccard, Ivan & Smets, Frank, 2017. "Structural asymmetries and financial imbalances in the eurozone," Working Paper Series 2076, European Central Bank.
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    11. Jacob A. Jordaan & Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2016. "The domestic productivity effects of FDI in Greece: loca(lisa)tion matters!," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 105, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    12. Sophie Piton, 2018. "Do Unit Labor Costs Matter? A Decomposition Exercise on European Data," PSE Working Papers halshs-01785345, HAL.
    13. Katarina Juselius & Sophia Dimelis, "undated". "The Greek crisis: A story of self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms," Discussion Papers 18-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    14. Konstantinos Kougias, 2017. "‘Real’ Flexicurity Worlds in action: Evidence from Denmark and Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 106, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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