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Press Release: A Growth Strategy for the Greek Economy

The Pissarides Commission, authored by leading economists and experts, presented a comprehensive 244-page report to the Greek government in January 2020. The report, authored by Christopher Pissarides (London School of Economics, University of Cyprus and CEPR), Costas Meghir (Yale University and CEPR), Dimitri Vayanos (London School of Economics and CEPR) & Nikos Vettas, (Athens University of Economics and Business, IOBE and CEPR), now available in English as a CEPR eBook, outlines a strategic growth plan to spur Greece into sustained economic recovery and competitiveness within the European Union. It also serves as a valuable blueprint for any economy seeking to enhance its performance in the open international landscape.

Key Findings and Recommendations: 

  • Labour Market Participation & Productivity: To elevate Greek incomes and converge with EU averages, the report emphasises the need for increased labour market participation, particularly among women and young people. Additionally, a boost in labour productivity through enhanced education at all levels, business investment, innovation, and technology integration is crucial.
  • Openness and Simplification: The report advocates for a more open economic system with simpler rules and greater transparency. Recommendations include lowering tax and social security burdens on formal employment, easing barriers for market entry and expansion, and improving social safety nets, education, and continuous training in the public sector.
  • Recommended policies are divided into four sets:
    • Improve the Business Environment: Address tax reform and regulatory complexity, and build a stronger and more efficient public administration.
    • Strengthen Social Cohesion: Focus on universal access to quality education and health services, pre-school care, and target social benefits for vulnerable people.
    • Better Infrastructure: Increase public and private investment in digital infrastructure, renewable energy, and transportation networks.
    • Industry-specific: Tailored policies for individual sectors, including manufacturing, tourism, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The report of the Pissarides commission has had considerable impact, guiding government policy in the key areas. The Greek economy is currently on a strong recovery path, however, maintaining high growth rates over the medium term depends on implementing structural reforms within a continuous transformation process. The report thus remains as relevant today as it was when it was first presented to the Greek government.

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