Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Chart of the day

Posted: 9 October 2014 in Uncategorized
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de neve fig3 7 oct

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and Michael I. Norton have found there’s a signficiant asymmetry in the way individuals experience positive and negative macroeconomic fluctuations:

We find evidence that the life satisfaction of individuals is between two and eight times more sensitive to negative growth as compared to positive economic growth. People do not psychologically benefit from expansions nearly as much as they suffer from recessions.

These results suggest that policymakers seeking to raise wellbeing should focus more on preventing busts than inculcating booms. Our results also offer an explanation for why increases in GDP do not always pay off in increases in happiness – the modest happiness gains accrued over years of growth can be wiped out by just a single year of contraction.

In the case of Greece, for example, the crisis that started in 2008 led to a decrease in average wellbeing that erased all prior gains. Average wellbeing in Greece now stands at a level below historical records, despite real income remaining at a level well above historical figures.

What that asymmetry suggests—for Greece and elsewhere—is that even a significant economic recovery on current terms will not and cannot generate an improvement in wellbeing anytime in the foreseeable future that can compensate for the losses generated since the crisis began.

To put it in other terms, it’s much easier and quicker to destroy what exists—such as people’s lives and livelihoods during the Second Great Depression or, as in the case of the University of Southern Maine, educational institutions—than to rebuild it.


Most of the coverage of the European parliamentary elections has focused on the success of “populist,” right-wing parties.

However, it is also the case that six countries—most notably Greece but also Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Romania—moved not to the Right but to the Left.

Protesters from the Communist-affiliated trade union PAME shout slogans as they march towards the parliament during a general labour strike in Athens

Greek labor unions staged a nationwide strike today to protest against austerity policies imposed on the country by the current government and its foreign creditors, including Germany.

Schools and pharmacies were shut, ships remained docked at ports, hospitals operated on emergency staff, and transport in Athens was disrupted due to the 24-hour strike called by private sector union GSEE and its public sector counterpart ADEDY.

More than 20,000 workers, pensioners, students and the unemployed marched peacefully through the streets of the Greek capital chanting “EU, IMF take the bailout and get out of here!”

Unions said their anti-austerity message was also aimed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens on Friday. Germany has insisted on painful spending cuts and tax hikes in return for international loans.

“It’s time to save people not banks,” said 59-year old economist Eleni Prokou. “Merkel and the troika should stop sticking their nose in our business.”


Special mention

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Chart of the day

Posted: 13 February 2014 in Uncategorized
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That’s the unemployment rate in Greece, which (according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority [pdf]) rose to an astronomical 28 percent in November.

The unemployment rate for young people (15-24 years of age) is even higher: 61.4 percent!

Chart of the day

Posted: 8 January 2014 in Uncategorized
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According to Eurostat [pdf], the euro area unemployment rate was a stubbornly high 12.1 percent in November 2013, unchanged since April. What this means is that 19.24 million workers in the euro area were without jobs, an increase of almost half a million since November 2012.

The countries with the highest unemployment rates were Greece (27.4 percent) and Spain (26.7 percent). Those countries also had the highest youth unemployment: an astounding 54.8 percent in Greece (September) and 57.7 percent in Spain (November).