DP8996 | An Explanation of the Greek Crisis:"The Insiders - Outsiders Society"

Publication Date

27/05/2012

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Abstract

In this paper we present stylized facts of the Greek economy that characterize the causes and the consequences of its ongoing crisis. Then, we offer an explanation that can account for those causes and consequences. This explanation is based on the view of Greek society as consisting of two groups with conflicting goals:'insiders' and 'outsiders'. Insiders are enjoying rightful and unrighteous benefits and the system is protecting them from their own potentially unlawful behavior, competition and meritocracy. Outsiders are the rest of society. The economic consequence of the 'insiders - outsiders society' is the accumulation of public and foreign debts as well as relatively low overall growth - features that characterize the Greek economy, for some time. Finally, following the insiders- outsiders explanation, we offer policy recommendations for an exit from the crisis and the resumption of growth.