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Greece 2010-18: what could we have done differently?

Cyrille Lenoël, Corrado Macchiarelli () and Garry Young

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: At the beginning of 2010, the fiscal situation of Greece was unsustainable, and an ambitious but costly adjustment plan had to be put in place under a consortium of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. It took three consecutive adjustment programmes, including debt-relief through private sector involvement, to restore confidence in the economy and achieve a budget surplus. In this paper, we provide a theoretical analysis of the Greek Crisis starting from 2010. We build a series of counterfactuals using the National Institute General Econometric Model (NIGEM) to analyse why the cost of the adjustment in terms of GDP loss and increase in debt-to-GDP ratio turned out to be much worse than expected. In doing so, we analyse three scenarios: (i) one in which we simulate a much more conservative cut in public investment by the Greek central government; (ii) a second scenario of a lower risk-premium, signalling, e.g., lower political and redenomination risks, had the European Central Bank guaranteed its lending of last resort role earlier than 2012; (iii) finally, a similar financial envelope as the one adopted during the first Greek adjustment programme but over a longer period, moving beyond the standard IMF three-year duration programmes. We find that the mix of expenditure cuts and loss of confidence among households and firms explain a large part of the unanticipated costs of the adjustment in the Greek crisis.

Keywords: fiscal multipliers; fiscal policy; government; public expenditure; public investment; DG-ECFIN (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 E63 H54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 48 pages
Date: 2022-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eec and nep-mac
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