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Inequality and poverty in Greece: Changes in times of crisis

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  • Andriopoulou, Eirini
  • Karakitsios, Alexandros
  • Tsakloglou, Panos

Abstract

The Greek crisis was the deepest and longest ever recorded in an OECD country in the postwar period. Output declined by over a quarter and disposable income by more than 40%, while the unemployment rate exceeded 27%. The paper explores the effects of the crisis on the level and the structure of aggregate inequality and poverty using the data of EU-SILC for the period 2007-2014. The results show that inequality rose but the magnitude of the change varies across indices. The recorded increases are larger when the indices used are relatively more sensitive to changes close to the bottom of the income distribution. Unlike claims often made in the public discourse, the elderly improved their relative position in the income distribution while there was substantial deterioration in the relative position of the enlarged group of the unemployed. The contribution of disparities between educational groups to aggregate inequality declined while that of disparities between socio-economic groups rose. All poverty indicators suggest that poverty increased substantially, especially when “anchored” poverty lines are used. Substantial changes are observed regarding the structure of poverty. Despite an increase in the population share of households headed by pensioners, their contribution to aggregate poverty declined considerably, with a corresponding increase in the contribution of households headed by unemployed persons. The changes are starker when distribution-sensitive poverty indices are utilized.

Suggested Citation

  • Andriopoulou, Eirini & Karakitsios, Alexandros & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2017. "Inequality and poverty in Greece: Changes in times of crisis," GLO Discussion Paper Series 119, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kyriopoulos, Ilias & Nikoloski, Zlatko & Mossialos, Elias, 2019. "The impact of the Greek economic adjustment programme on household health expenditure," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 274-284.
    2. Eirini Andriopoulou & Eleni Kanavitsa & Chrysa Leventi, 2020. "The distributional impact of recurrent immovable property taxation in Greece," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 44(4), pages 505-528.
    3. Pagoulatos, George, 2018. "Greece after the bailouts: assessment of a qualified failure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91957, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. George Pagoulatos, 2018. "Greece after the Bailouts: Assessment of a Qualified Failure," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 130, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    5. Economides, George & Papageorgiou, Dmitris & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2020. "Macroeconomic policy lessons from Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107155, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Anastasia PANORI & Yannis PSYCHARIS, 2018. "The impact of the economic crisis on poverty and welfare in Athens," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 48, pages 23-40.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Greece; inequality; poverty; decomposition analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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