Monday, October 19, 2015

In all historical empirical studies of the Great Depression, Greece is systematically neglected or included only sporadically in cross-country samples.

In a recent paper (Deja vu? The Greek crisis experience, the 2010s versus the 1930s. Lessons from history / PDF, Athens: Bank of Greece, 2014), George Chouliarakis, now Greece’s Alternate Minister of Finance and Sophia Lazaretou focus on the Greek experience of the 1930s and use it as a benchmark against which to assess the policy choices and constraints that Greece faces today, with the ultimate aim to draw policy lessons from history and warn against a repetition of the same outcome.

The 1930s crisis is used as a convenient testing ground to compare the two crises episodes, ‘then’ and ‘now’; to detect differences and similarities, discuss the policy facts and assess the impact of policy pursued on output. Comparisons with the interwar period, according to the study, indicate that the current Greek economic crisis should be classified a great depression rather than a great recession.