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Social Structures of Accumulation in Greece, 1980–2014

Angeliki Papadopoulou and Giorgos Gouzoulis

Review of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 32, issue 2, 199-215

Abstract: This paper examines the domestic and transnational social structures of accumulation (SSA) of Greece’s development process over the period 1980–2014. Our historical analysis suggests that the Greek growth model was based on three social accords: (1) the Terms of International Trade and Finance accord, i.e., the liberalisation of international trade, capital mobility and finance within the EU; (2) the State-Capital accord, which included the liberalised labour and industrial relations, and the tolerance to elite tax evasion; and (3) the State-Citizen accord, which involved the relative expansion of the welfare state. The latter aspect suggests that the Greek growth model of the last three decades has been hybrid, rather than typical neoliberal. Our econometric findings provide robust evidence that trade openness, the liberalisation of international financial institutions, and the wage share have been increasing the rate of net capital accumulation in Greece since 1980, while public social spending has been decreasing it. Therefore, the Greek crisis was initially triggered by the breakdown of international trade and finance flows within the EU after the 2008 financial crisis. The subsequent collapse of the State-Citizen accord, due to the EU-imposed austerity programmes further induced the demise of the post-1980 Greek SSA.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2020.1769281

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