Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Greece

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Reform that! Greece’s failing reform technology: beyond ‘vested interests’ and ‘political exchange’

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
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Vassilis Monastiriotis and Andreas Antoniades

Despite significant progress in its path towards Europeanisation over the last two decades, Greece’s reform record remains highly problematic. Persistent reform failures and a continuum of half-way reforms have characterised much of the country’s recent history. In this paper we depart from dominant explanations in the literature that focus predominantly on the political and social context (lack of political will, fragmentation of organised interests, extent of rentseeking, etc) and instead focus on the processes shaping the content of reform proposals. We identify an inherent deficiency in the country’s reform technology, linked to a deficient engagement of policy-making with expert knowledge (encompassing all aspects of knowledge production, processing and utilisation), which results in continuous policy-learning failures and, ultimately, inefficient reforms. Our analysis calls for a re-direction of emphasis from the study of how actors contest reforms to the pathologies that lead to the production of contestable reform proposals.

Political Discrimination in the Aftermath of Violence: the case of the Greek riots

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 948.88 kB
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David Hugh-Jones , Alexia Katsanidou and Gerhard Riener

We examine discrimination against outgroups in the context of the December 2008 riots in Greece after the killing of a 15-year-old student by a special police agent. We examine students’ allocations between themselves and others, including police, in modified Dictator games, allowing us to test theories of discrimination on behavior with real payoff consequences. Treatments examined the effect of in-group norms and
environmental cues on discrimination. We find that cues in the environment increase discrimination. However, contrary to existing research, in-group norms do not increase discrimination. We also correlate discrimination with attitudes towards the riots themselves, providing a laboratory test of the “frame alignment” theory of mobilization. Laboratory behaviour was correlated with self-reported participation in demonstrations, supporting the external validity of our measure.

Distributional Implications of Tax Evasion in Greece

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 249.37 kB
Downloads: 931

Manos Matsaganis and Maria Flevotomou

The shadow economy and tax evasion are both widespread in Greece. This has adverse effects in terms of horizontal and vertical equity, as well as in terms of efficiency. We take advantage of access to a large sample of income tax returns in 2004/05, and compare tax reported incomes with those observed in the household budget survey of that year. We re-weight our two datasets to make them fully comparable, and carefully select the reference population. We then calculate ratios of income under-reporting by region and income source. The synthetic distribution of reported incomes is then fed into a taxbenefit model to provide preliminary estimates of the size and distribution of income tax evasion in Greece. Income under-reporting is estimated at 10%, resulting in a 26% shortfall in tax receipts. The paper finds that the effects of tax evasion are higher income inequality and poverty, as well as lower progressivity of the income tax system.

Transition Strategies and Labour Market Integration of Greek University Graduates

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 291.56 kB
Downloads: 769

Maria Karamessini

Greece has today the highest youth unemployment rate in the EU-27 while employment precariousness is disproportionately concentrated among young workers. Youth unemployment and employment precariousness are extremely high even among higher education graduates, generating a very long period of transition from education to work. Protracted transition calls for the development of diverse strategies for successful labour market integration before and after graduation. In this paper we use micro-data from a nation-wide survey conducted in 2005 to examine the incidence of different transition strategies among Greek university graduates, assess their effectiveness for successful labour market integration 5-7 years after graduation and test if the findings conform to the southern European pattern of labour market entry advanced by comparative socio-economic literature. The theoretical framework of our analysis is that of labour market segmentation and job competition theory in a context of high unemployment and imperfect information.

The Record of Gender Policies in Greece 1980- 2010: legal form and economic substance

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 306.25 kB
Downloads: 645

Antigone Lyberaki Reforms promoting gender equality in Greece are held by many to be one of the few real success stories of the post-1974 period. Indeed, there has been considerable activity in changes in employment, family, social insurance and other legislation all centered around the constitutional provision on equal treatment which came into force in 1983. This activism, however, was mainly about statutory changes and lacked a feminist analysis of women’s real position in the Greek economy and society. The main argument of the paper is that gender equality-promoting policies, laws and measures - ‘Legalistic Formalism’- failed because they ignored the dual nature of the labour market and the economics of the family. By focusing on legal form and ignoring reality it allowed the reform momentum to be hijacked.