Past Research Projects

Over the years the Hellenic Observatory engaged in a number of research projects along the thematic lines and geographic focus defined by our strategic aims and mission. Past research projects associated with the Hellenic Observatory can be found here.


NBG Calls

National Bank of Greece Research Calls

Due to funding generously provided by the National Bank of Greece, the Hellenic Observatory announced 5 research calls between 2009-2015, which resulted in 13 projects that covered a broad spectrum of research topics with a focus on modern Greece. 

Explore the projects here


A.N. Hadjiyiannis Research Fellowship on Contemporary Cyprus

Mr Andreas Hadjiyiannis' generous donation allowed the establishment of a Research Fellowship at the Hellenic Observatory on Contemporary Cyprus during 2012-2017. This was the first time that the Hellenic Observatory was able to offer fellowships for research on contemporary Cyprus and this achievement both complemented and expanded the HO’s mission in the area.

Other Past Projects

The Political Imaginary of Happiness in Greece

Dr Dimitris Soudias (Visiting Fellow, February 2022 - February 2023) focused on the political imaginary of hapiness in Greece. In recent decades, post-industrial economies have engaged in place-branding strategies to generate growth. These strategies go beyond the short-termism of tourism and have focused on attracting human capital vis-à-vis ‘creative talent’, ‘lifestyle migrants’, ‘digital nomads’, as well as ‘brain-gainers’. This project investigated the case of Greece, claiming that the current government mobilizes happiness as a political imaginary to brand Greece that embodies happiness. The analytical task of this project was threefold. Firstly, it scrutinized the constitutive discursive elements and (governmental, scholarly) agents of the happiness imaginary in Greece. Secondly, this project investigated the role of the happiness imaginary for Greece’s place-branding strategies. Thirdly, the project elaborated the claim that the political imaginary of happiness serves the purpose of not only attracting desirable migrants, but also of disciplining the Greek population.

Frozen Conflicts: understanding their characteristics and impact

Dr Nasia Hadjigeorgiou (Visiting Senior Fellow, September 2021 – September 2022) seeked to understand the societal dynamics at play, and the effect of these dynamics, in places that are experiencing a frozen conflict. She did this by first answering the question ‘what are the most prevalent features that frozen conflict societies have in common?’ Examples of such features include the idea that many governmental decisions in frozen conflict societies are, formally at least, temporary; the fact that key decisions in these societies are often characterised by a lack of transparency; these societies’ intense focus on the protection of national identity; and the fact that the very existence of the frozen conflict overshadows other (foreign) policy considerations. 
The first part of the project developed the theoretical argument that these features have an impact on frozen conflict societies, often in invisible ways. Papers dealing with the impact of frozen conflicts on migration policy, education or LGBTQI+ rights have alluded to this argument, but the distinct focus of, and different disciplines that each paper comes from, have prevented them from reaching generalisable conclusions. Thus, the common features of frozen conflicts and their effects would be identified through an interdisciplinary approach that brings together insights from different parts of the literature. The second part of the project was to apply the theoretical findings to three case studies within the Council of Europe, namely Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia/South Ossetia.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Greek Settlement Policies Adopted: which were the immediate and long-term problems to be confronted and how these policies have been developed since the beginning of the refugee crisis?

Dr Maria Rizou (Visiting Fellow, September 2020 -August 2022) examined in detail the recent Syrian refugee crisis (and more wider the current migration crisis) and thepolicies implemented by the Greek state and the UN in settling these refugees. The project analysed the impacts of these policies for the refugees themselves but also for the local population living near or next to refugee camps and hot spots. Which types of interventions were used, and which were the intermediary outcomes and the final outcomes of these processes? The aim of this research project was also to analyse and follow the problems that refugees faced and continue to confront in their place of origin, during transit and at destination. This study aimed to link the political actions to economic and social policies as well as potential economic gains and social benefits of regular migration. 

The Evolution of Public Relations and Media Strategies in the Post-war Era and the Debate Concerning the Repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

Mr Peter Aspden (Visiting Professor in Practice, January 2021 - June 2022) was researching the present-day debate on the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, examining the manner in which the controversy surrounding their possible return has provoked shifts in attitude, on both sides, towards cultural patrimony and nationhood.

The Political Economy of Greece’s Growth Regime

Dr Dimitrios Katsikas (Visiting Senior Fellow, April 2022 - June 2022) focused on the political economy of Greece's growth regime. There is a rich bibliography on modern day Greece, covering various aspects of its social, economic and political life. However, there are only few works that attempt to provide an interpretation of Greece’s growth regime and its evolution from a more holistic, political economy perspective. The research of Dr. Katsikas seeked to continue and renew this strand of the literature by employing the most recent theoretical developments in the field of comparative political economy (CPE). The research aimed to identify and analyse structural features of the Greek political economy, in order to explain its evolution, and reveal the constraints it faces in its effort to adjust, in a theoretically informed manner that goes beyond the idiosyncrasies of the Greek case. The latest theoretical developments in CPE were particularly helpful in this respect because, among other things, they advocate the parallel examination of economic and political shifts in domestic political economies, an approach which offers opportunities for a richer, more synthetic and ultimately more comprehensive account for the evolution of the Greek political economy. Such an approach would also help uncover the dynamics of the Greek crisis. It would provide a fuller account of the crisis and its handling. It could for example, help explain the deeper than anticipated recession and the difficulty of the Greek economy to recover, and answer questions such as how and why the policy mix of austerity differed across governments and how these choices impacted the economy, why some reforms were implemented while others were not, what are the political implications of certain policies and reforms that were implemented, such as those in the labour market, and ultimately why, according to all indications, this unprecedented crisis and the three adjustment programmes were not enough to fundamentally alter Greece’s growth regime

GreeSE Paper 176. Crisis, Clientelism and Institutional Resilience: reflections on a public sector reform under the MoUs, October 2022

Defence partnerships, military expenditure, investment, and economic growth: an analysis in PESCO countries

Dr Dimitrios Karamanis (Visiting Fellow, November 2021- May 2022) focuses on the exploration of the association of military expenditures and economic growth within the Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) defence initiative, a European legal framework through which Member States have been committed to increasing defence investment and budgets. The main research question is “Can the defence sector stimulate the European economies?” which will be approached through a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) framework. Further, in order to investigate if the effects are common for all Member States, potential different country clusters will be sought by applying a community detection algorithm on the network links that have been established through country partnerships in PESCO defence projects. Preliminary findings indicate that military expenditures can stimulate economic growth but the effects may not be common for all Member States, which could benefit from the involvement in joint defence projects to maximize the effectiveness of their defence spending.

GreeSE Paper 173, Dimitrios Karamanis, Defence partnerships, military expenditure, investment, and economic growth: an analysis in PESCO countries, July 2022

Competitiveness and Competition Policy of Financial Services in Greece

Dr Panagiotis Barkas (Visiting Fellow, March 2021 – February 2022) aims at investigating the policy reform options to unleash competition forces in banking and financial services sectors in Greece in order to boost their international competitiveness. His perspective is a political economy one examining the finance-competition-trade nexus and specifically exploring ways to streamline the regulatory environment for financial service providers to enhance their extraversion. Examining the impact of measures concerning trade facilitation and trade liberalization, recent research suggests that services have been shielded from protectionist pressures to a greater extent than commodity trade. Market competition analysis in Greece mostly concerns product markets, while our understanding of the drivers of financial services’ competitiveness is still limited, which is where this research will focus. The research and analysis will highlight the role of regulatory and institutional factors to foster structural competitiveness of banking and financial services. Examined factors span across the sectoral regulatory restrictions to movement of people, barriers to competition, restrictions on foreign entry, sectoral R&D intensity and regulatory transparency.

The Effect of Covid-19 on the NPLs of Systemic Greek Banks

Dr Theodore Kounadeas (Visiting Fellow, May 2021 - February 2022) will focus on the effect of Covid-19 on the NPLs of systemic Greek banks. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had detrimental socioeconomic effects, bringing the economy to an abrupt halt. Lockdowns and increased uncertainty about the future have significant implications on business activity and on household financial status (i.e., fewer working hours and increased unemployment). The problem of NPLs is the one the banking sector is called upon to solve, so that it can officially and definitively exit the crisis and return to a sense of regularity. Especially for the Greek banking sector that has suffered a more serious blow than any other in the last decade, the issue of NPLs is of substantial importance. The increased interest in this problem is also evident due to the large number of studies that have been carried out on this topic in the last years. According to these, the conclusion regarding factors that affect the evolution of NPLs is neither singular nor clear and, most of all, differs from country to country. With this research, it will be examined whether the evolution of NPLs in Greece during the pandemic is affected by macroeconomic factors or it depends on certain aspects of its banking sector or even a combination of the two. Consequently, it could become a tool for the formulation of new strategies regarding the management of NPLs. It should be mentioned that this is the first study that examines this topic in Greece. 

Subjects in crisis: Paradoxes of emancipation and alter-neoliberal critique, Dimitris Soudias, The Sociological Review, SAGE Journals, 24 May 2022

Towards a Cultural Economy of Uncertainty: creativity and entrepreneurialism in Athens and Berlin

Dimitris Soudias (Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow, January 2021 - December 2021) investigates the governmental rationalities of policy discourses on creativity in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) and the Social Economies in Athens and Berlin. He is particularly interested in the neoliberalization of creativity, the entrepreneurialization of solidarity, and the overall quantification of ‘the social’. Dimitris’ research at the Hellenic Observatory forms the basis of his larger interdisciplinary agenda of theorizing a cultural economy of uncertainty. Here, he is currently developing a project on the ways in which self-described entrepreneurs at the intersection of the CCIs and the Social Economy in Athens and Berlin confront uncertainty and the future. Preliminary findings indicate that entrepreneurial approaches to “creativity” are particularly important to this regard. Rather than presuming what creativity or uncertainty 'is', Dimitris is interested in tracing entrepreneurial meaning-making practices of creativity and uncertainty and, in turn, how these practices form and inform particular subjectivities and work ethics. 

GreeSE Paper to be published soon.

What Has Been Effect of Foreign Direct Investment and Mergers & Acquisitions into Greece since 2015, and is There a Best-practice Approach from the Perspective of Investors, Policy or the Economy?

Robert Quartly-Janeiro’s (Visiting Fellow, December 2019- November 2020) research focused on how Greece can attract higher levels of foreign direct investment across two areas. Firstly, via buy-and-build strategies, and secondly by improving Greece’s attractiveness and opportunity-set for ESG and impact investment.’ His work is broken down into two areas. Firstly, he collated a report Buy-and-Build Strategy as a catalyst for increasing foreign direct investment in Greece on Greece’s position as a location for buy-and-build strategies so often employed by investment firms and corporates, in order to explore and make a case for this form of investment approach being increasingly used by investors into Greece. The second area of his work was to deliver a report Remaining Blue: Attracting ESG and Impact Investment into Greece (working title) in Spring 2021 on the the emerging opportunities for greater environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) investment into Greece, noting the lack of ESG credentials of Greek firms. The report looked to explore how Greece can attract ESG and impact investing beyond public markets, alongside the opportunities that exist for ‘greening’ sectors significant to Greek GDP e.g. shipping and tourism, in order to capitalise on the financial allocations being made to ESG by international investors. Additionally, this would ensure Greece doesn’t lag behind other countries when it comes to ESG and impact investing, that has proven to strengthen businesses and increase economic performance.


In Search of the Optimal Fiscal Policy Mix and What Can Be Learned from the Recent History of Austerity Programs in Greece


Dr. Platon Monokroussos (Visiting Professor in Practice, December 2018 - November 2021) with his research entitled “In search of the optimal fiscal policy mix and what can be learned from the recent history of severe austerity programs” aimed to produce 1-2 publishable papers on a number of topics and themes relevant to the below items:

- An updated assessment of the fiscal consolidation programs implemented in Greece over the last 5 years as well as the outlook going forward, in view of the conditionality underlying the new bailout program, the prospect of new debt relief and current expectations about the evolution of the domestic economy in the years to come.

- Based on the above analysis, the study will derive a number of policy-related implications, so as to judge the degree of success of recent fiscal policies implemented in Greece in restoring fiscal sustainability. Such an assessment would be of significant importance in the current trajectory, especially taking into consideration that Greece’s new (3rd) bailout program contains a new sizeable package of fiscal measures, primarily consisting of VAT rate hikes and new pension cuts. Although the country’s burgeoning public debt burden undoubtedly argues in favor of continuing fiscal prudence (and the provision of further generous debt relief from the official creditors), serious doubts exist about the potential effectiveness (and social fairness) of the new fiscal austerity program. This is especially in view of the domestic recessionary environment and the fact that a poor track record in fighting tax evasion increases the chances that the main brunt of the new measures will again be borne by wage earners, pensioners and other sensitive social groups. Probably, the best way to advance the aforementioned arguments is to let numbers talk: according to the latest data from the Secretariat General for Public  Revenues, cumulative tax arrears in Greece totaled €80 (or c. 45% of 2014 GDP) in September 2015, with as much as €5.6bn of which being accumulated in the first nine months of this year. In view of the aforementioned, the study will make a number of proposals as regards the main characteristics of a more fair and efficient fiscal policy mix that would aim to facilitate the attainability of the agreed fiscal targets with the least possible macroeconomic and social costs. In these lines, and taking into account Greece’s idiosyncratic characteristics, the study will assess the potential implications of a generalized reduction in income tax rates for businesses (in tandem with measures to strengthen VAT and income tax compliance) and will provide some preliminary thoughts on the potential merits and drawbacks of a flat income tax rate. More  generally, the study will make a number of reform proposals that would aim to simplify the tax system, increase its social fairness and efficiency and make it more conducive to attracting increased volumes of foreign direct investment.


Non-performing Loans in Greece: explaining the interplay of macroeconomic,bank-specific and firm-level determinants

Dr. Platon Monokroussos’s (Visiting Professor in Practice, December 2018 - November 2021) research concentrated on ‘Non-performing loans in Greece: explaining the interplay of macroeconomic, bank-specific and firm level determinants’. Dr. Monokroussos examined the determinants of credit risk in the years leading to the global financial crisis and afterwards. In line with a couple of earlier empirical works on the drivers of non-performing loans in Greece (Louzis et al., 2012; Monokroussos and Thomakos, 2014), the study uses an extended set of potential macroeconomic and bank-specific explanatory variables to  empirically test a range of relevant hypotheses proposed by the literature. With regards to macro (systematic) determinants of non-performing loans, the study examined whether a fully-updated series of potential macroeconomic drivers including real GDP, unemployment rate, inflation, real loan interest rates and real collateral values (proxied by property prices) plays indeed a major role in explaining the evolution of problem loans.


The States that Refugees Define: institutional and cultural forms of activism in exceptional locations

Dr Olga Demetriou (Visiting Senior Fellow, May 2021- October 2021) in her research, posed the question ‘what can refugee protection tell us about the states that mete it out’? While the status of refugee is conventionally understood as one that is conferred on individuals by a state, the protection of refugees can also define what a state is – the extent of its sovereignty, the quality of its democracy, its role in the international system, its collaborations with other states. This project started from the premise that refugees define states just as states define refugees. Thus, the project analyses refugee protection as a field of contestation between practices that co-determine what is a proper refugee and what is a proper state. It locates this contestation in both conventional and other forms of politics where institutional and non-institutional practices shape perceptions of the state as a democratic, just, or otherwise, actor in the international system. From this perspective, it examines how institutional and non-institutional forms of activism on refugee rights, specifically litigation and art, shape the image of the state. It takes the example of refugees stranded on the British Bases in Cyprus as a case in point. It explores how these two different forms of activism interacted with the state locates the actors involved through the development of the case.

The project is connected to research on pro- and anti- migrant rights activism carried out under a British Academy small research grant (2021-2022) and in collaboration with Antonis Ellinas (University of Cyprus).


Bank Performance in the Euro Area and the Single Supervisory Mechanism

Professor Helen Louri- Dendrinou (Visiting Professor, September 2020 - December 2020) examined if and how the establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) influenced the performance of European banks, using two key indicators for profitability (Return on Assets and Return on Equity) and a series of capital adequacy indices. Data of 548 euro area banks for the period 2011-2017 were used applying the methodologies of difference-in-differences and linear regression with endogenous treatment effects. A positive effect on performance, in general, was expected but the details of the mechanism needed to be researched and analyzed.

Non-performing loans in the euro area: Does bank market power matter?
Maria Karadima, Helen Louri
International Review of Financial Analysis, November 2020


Private Returns to Education in Greece Before and During the Crisis


In this project Professor Panos Tsakloglou (Visiting Professor, January 2020 - June 2020) and his collaborators (Ioannis Cholezas and Nikos Kanellopoulos) used micro-data of Labour Force Surveys and attempted to provide answers to a number of questions like: “Controlling for the macroeconomic environment, which were the factors affecting the probability of unemployment at the individual level and how did the influence of these factors change during the crisis (with emphasis on the role of education)?”, “How were the private rates of return to education change in Greece during the crisis for narrowly defined educational groups and how do these rates change if the unemployment rate per education group is taken into consideration?”, “Is education a good investment from a private point of view even in times of high unemployment?” and, finally “How different are the ‘traditional’ OLS estimates of private rates of return to education from estimates derived using instrumental variable techniques?”


Distributional Changes in Turbulent Times


Professor Panos Tsakloglou (Visiting Professor, January 2020 - June 2020) and his collaborators (Eirini Andriopoulou, Eleni Kanavitsa and Chrysa Leventi) analyzed changes in aggregate inequality and poverty in Greece during the period 2007-2017 using the data of EU-SILC and the tax-benefit microsimulation model EUROMOD. Unlike claims made in the public discourse, inequality did not rise substantially and/or continuously in the crisis years (actually, some indices record a decline), while the structure of inequality changed only marginally, with inequality “within” groups being far more important in shaping aggregate inequality than inequality “between” groups (irrespective of the partitioning criterion).  On the contrary, both the level and the structure of poverty changed dramatically during the crisis.  When the indices used are sensitive not only to the extent but to the average depth of poverty and to the distribution of resources among the poor, the rise in poverty is very large, even when the poverty line used is “relative”. When “anchored” poverty lines are utilized, the changes are far starker. Regarding the composition of the poor, unlike what is often heard in the public discourse, the pensioners are the only group that improve substantially their relative position, while the contribution of the unemployed rose markedly. Finally, using EUROMOD, specific policy changes are associated with changes in aggregate inequality and poverty.


Bank Recapitalisation under Adjustment Programmes: the Greek case


Dr Chrysoula Papalexatou (Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow, September 2019- August 2020) focused on the relationship between banks and the state in the case of Greece during the crisis. The Greek banking sector found itself inside a nation state which was restricted by the supranational financial order. At the same time, funds for banking recapitalisation came from the adjustment programmes with strong conditionality. Dr Papalexatou's current research examines the negotiations over the recapitalisation schemes in Greece. It explores how the multiple actors involved in the negotiations affected the bailout calculus and how the involvement of international lenders shaped and changed the traditional links between the banks and the state –given that all this unfolds against the backdrop of the creation of the Banking Union which has supra-nationalized bank governance. Moreover, departing from the Greek case, this project also provides a comparative assessment focusing on the different relationships and their evolution between financial institutions and national governments in other Eurozone states of Southern Europe.


FDI and Productivity Spillovers: evidence from Greece


Dr Dellis' (Visiting Fellow, September 2019- December 2019) research aimed to empirically gauge the effect that FDI inflows have on domestic productivity and innovative performance using data from OECD economies. Furthermore, it examined the potential of threshold effects regarding the development of the host economy financial system insofar as the latter is considered a conducive force for spillover effects. Finally, the study shed focus on the specific attributes of the Greek economy in relation to the attraction and efficiency of FDI flows under the prism of the ongoing structural reform process.  

GreeSE Paper 154, Konstantinos Dellis, Knowledge Diffusion and Financial Development Thresholds, December 2020


The Future of Housing in Greece

Dr Philipp Katsinas (Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow, September 2018 -August 2019) investigated the impacts of the economic crisis on housing in Greece. Traditionally characterised by high rates of owner-occupation, the absence of social housing and relatively low residential segregation, the Greek housing system has been affected by increased private indebtedness both towards the state (due to the introduction of a new property tax) and to financial institutions (due to non-performing loans) and the opening up of property foreclosures, which had been largely prevented until recently. Further developments have included the growth in short-term rentals and the entry of transnational investors into the housing market. Using a mixed-methods approach, the project addressed housing recommodification and financialisation, focusing on the interaction between state and supranational policies, financial institutions, investors, and local government development strategies, providing insights on finance- and culture-led urban restructuring and its socio-spatial effects from the Greek case.

The Economic Contribution of the Diaspora to the Greek Society and State in the Long Term and Especially in the Last 30 Years


Dr Papakonstantinou Katerina (Visiting Fellow, October 2019 - June 2020) focused on ‘The economic contribution of the diaspora to the Greek society and state in the long term and especially in the last 30 years’. Dr Papakonstantinou's research focused on the various aspects of the migration waves from Greece, the impact on demography and the economy. The main research questions were based on the effects of migration waves from Greece in the long term but mainly in the last 30 years in order to understand the contribution of this phenomenon to the Greek economy: the net contribution to the GDP with the migrant remittances; capital investment in the Greek economy and the types of entrepreneurship; changes in the labour market, in salaries and the rate of unemployment. The role of gendered migration and the networking of migrants in order to support their living and professional development. Based on the statistical data from various sources, the purpose of the research is to combine all available information and to produce a final paper providing new insight into the economic dimension of migration and diaspora while discussing key theoretical concepts such as networking, chain migration and family capitalism in diasporas.

Dr Papakonstantinou authored the blog post 'Discussing the Brain Drain' for Greece@LSE


Wages, Employment and Labour Market Reforms: lessons from Greece


Dr Ioannis Laliotis (Hellenic Observatory Research Officer, September 2018 - September 2019) worked on a number of research projects of policy relevance and public debate. His research portfolio spaned over empirical applications on the Greek labour market and on the interplay between economic conditions, labour markets and health. As Research Officer he focused on analysing the impacts from the implementation of labour market and collective bargaining system reforms. More specifically, his research explored the features of the decentralized collective negotiations system in Greece before and after the 2011 industrial relations reform. Using the universe of signed firm-level contracts for a large number of years, his research attempted to explore the profile of firms that responded to the institutional change and estimate the implications for contractual base wages and other labour market outcomes. Second, and from a more policy-relevant and causal perspective, his research seeked to formally evaluate the impact of the reform, in terms of wages and employment, by developing and matching unique sources of contract and firm-specific data and applying quasi-experimental methods.

GreeSE Paper 141, Ioannis Laliotis, Did the Economic Adjustment Programmes Deliver Wage Flexibility in Greece?, October 2019


The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics


Professor Kevin Featherstome is co-editing the volume The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics with Dimitris Sotiropoulos (Athens). This is due for publication in 2019. It will contain over 40 full-length chapters by leading academics reflecting on post-1974 developments in Greece, placed in a conceptual and comparative perspective. It aims to provide an authoritative guide to the development of contemporary Greek politics – particularly from 1974 to the present, what has been termed the ‘Metapolitefsi’ period since the fall of the Colonels’ junta. This is not a chronological history; rather, it is a reflective commentary and analysis across the key themes of development that have shaped politics, institutions, and policies. As reflective essays, they critically assess the existing literature in specific fields and outline agendas for future research to build-up knowledge and awareness – they identify themes and seek to shape research terrains. Analytically, they comprise conceptual and empirical dimensions to deepen the appreciation of developments and to connect them to a wider, international literature. In placing developments in this reflective and analytical context, the chapters will provide expert insight that can stand the test of time as a key point of reference.

The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics was published in October 2020.
Read the editors' interview.
*Order the book with a 30% discount here. Discount code: ASFLYQ6.


Does the ‘Quality of Government’ Matter? Weak States, Strong Societies, and the Challenges of EU Governance


In the multi-level governance of the European Union, national governments are obliged to carry out a range of functional tasks consequent on their EU membership. This paper by Professor Kevin Featherstone assesses how far their performance is affected by their national ‘state tradition’, as developed by Dyson. To operationalise the concept, it distinguishes two key dimensions: administrative tradition and the social autonomy of the state. It applies established typologies of the former and, following Rothstein, it creates an ‘impartiality index’ for the latter. EU member states display variation on both measures. The results show an incomplete pattern in terms of administrative tradition, but significant explanatory value for the independence of state institutions from societal pressures, such as corruption, favouritism, and mistrust. The implications for the EU’s dependency on member state delivery, and its management of their heterogeneity, are discussed in the context of the political sensitivities of recent crises.


The Greek Labour Market


Research in this field involves a number of small projects led by Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis, using data from the Greek Labour Force Survey and applied microeconometric techniques to understand various aspects of the Greek labour market and of changes instigated with the crisis and recent labour market reforms. Specific topics include changes in the structure of sectoral returns and of gender-based occupational segregation (both with Rebekka Christopoulou), geographical differences in unemployment adjustments (with Angelo Martelli), changes in intra-household labour supply decisions (with Nikole Lampropoulou) and two research pieces seeking to evaluate in particular the effects of changes in wage-setting on wage adjustability (with Eleni Kyrkopoulou) and of the minimum wage on employment (with Andreas Georgiades and Ioannis Kaplanis). 


Regional Growth and Convergence


A number of research papers are developed under this theme, concerning both broad economic geography questions and questions linked specifically to the effectiveness of European Cohesion Policy in Greece. A paper on Spatial Structure and Spatial Dynamics of Regional Incomes in Greece (with Can Karahasan) has recently been published as chapter 15 in the edited volume by Bournakis et al (eds), Political Economy Perspectives on the Greek Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan); while a follow-up paper on the theme, titled Regional Inequalities in Greece: A Spatiotemporal Analysis, is currently in preparation (again, with Can Karahasan). Another paper, with Theodore Arvanitopoulos and Theodore Panagiotidis, looks at the patterns of stochastic convergence across the Greek prefectures and examines their geographical-economic determinants. Last, the Spatial Allocation and Economic Impacts of Cohesion Funds in Greece is examined in current work in collaboration with Dimitris Kallioras and George Petrakos.


The Quality of Competition Law enforcement: the case of Greece


Professor Yannis Katsoulacos' (Visiting Professor, October 2018 - September 2019) research focused on ‘The Quality of Competition Law Enforcement: the Case of Greece’. The main objective was to identify the quality of competition law enforcement in Greece focusing on the question of whether suitable legal standards are adopted in the assessment of potentially anti-competitive business conduct by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC). Effective competition is one of the main pillars of a strong and prosperous economy and the effective enforcement of Competition Policy by Competition Authorities (CAs) is one of the main pillars for establishing effective competition in a modern economy. The main objective was to test empirically for the first time the choice of legal standards by the HCC, after constructing a unique dataset of decisions made by the HCC between 1996 – 2017; this would allow inferences about the quality of enforcement of the HCC; inferences concerning the predictions of recent theoretical models concerning the choice of legal standards by utility maximising CAs; also it would allow us to undertake international comparative analysis utilising other countries’ datasets, that are available to the project proposer and to investigate and make policy recommendations regarding the design of alternative, welfare improving, enforcement procedures and structures.

GreeSE Paper 144, Kelly Benetatou and Yannis Katsoulacos, Legal Standards and Economic Analysis in Antitrust Enforcement: An Empirical Investigation for the Case of Greece, January 2020


Sectoral Dynamics in the Greek Crisis


Professor Nicos Christodoulakis (Visiting Professor, September 2018 - August 2019), investigated how Greek firms behaved in the context of the recent financial crisis, regarding patterns of growth, capital allocation and the ability to survive the fall in aggregate demand. Research was carried out both at an aggregate level and across sectors and regions, so as to draw conclusions regarding possible directions for business activity in the future. The aim of the research was to develop appropriate models and produce evidence regarding: (i)The effect of firms’ size in their ability to grow in the market and survive the economic crisis. (ii) The effect that sectors and regions might have on the resurgence of business activity in Greece. (iii) Suggestions on the type, structure and allocation of business activity, as well as the kind of market reforms that might accelerate economic growth in Greece in the following years.


The Local Organizational Development of Far Right Parties in Greece and Europe

During his Fellowship (October 2018 - December 2018) Dr. Antonis Ellinas worked on a book-length project on why far rightparties thrive in some local settings but fail in others.The project aimed to establish a new research agenda by examining the subnationalorganizational development of far right parties in Greece and Europe. Whereas mostwork on far right parties examines electoral outcomes and compares far right partiesacross countries, this project asked why far right parties are able to grow organizationalroots in some local societies but not in others. Examining variation in theorganizational development of far right parties at the subnational level and using thesubnational comparative method, the project examined how electoral dynamics,organizational factors, institutional responses and societal reactions shape the localorganizational trajectories of far right parties.


Reframing Greece’s Russia Policy

Dr. Panagiota Manoli during her Fellowship (Visiting Fellow March 2018 - September 2018) aimed at codifying the parameters of contemporary relations between Greece and Russia and to place Greek-Russian relations in the 21st century and within the context of change in European politics. Europe (and Greece) today faces a fundamental strategic choice on how to shape EU internal governance, how to deal with Russia and thus how to constitute the new European order. Greece’s Russian policy is examined through the above parameters. This project takes stock of the conventional explanations underpinning the material and cognitive basis of Greek-Russian affairs and then seeks to expose the power of structural determinants and changing dynamics marked in the European level as shapers of Greek-Russian relations. In doing so, the research attempts to reframe Greece’s Russian policy in a European context.


The Gender Effect of the Crisis in Greece: old-age care, working decisions and the male-female gap

Dr Nikolitsa Lampropoulou (Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2017- 2018) worked on the project “The gender effect of the crisis in Greece: old-age care, working decisions and the male-female gap”. She examined the effect of the economic crisis on the working decisions of females relative to males in terms of employment, unemployment, inactivity and hours of work. Moreover, she investigated the gender impact of the economic crisis on the working decisions in households with elderly parents.


Mapping the Obstacles for Institutional Change in Greece


The main objective of Dr Irene Martin Cortes's  research during her Fellowship (Visiting Fellow, January 2018 - June 2018) was to map the different obstacles for institutional change in Greece during the period of the memoranda from 2010 onwards. The different sources of resistance will be classified along the typology internal/external and economic/political. In a second phase, a special emphasis will be given to obstacles related to electoral costs. On the side of domestic actors, these obstacles have to do with the avoidance of electoral risks. It can be hypothesized that the losers of reforms will be less likely to vote for those parties passing and implementing the reforms, or to withdraw from their constituency. This research tries to identify the self-perceived losers and winners of the reforms and the changes in their voting behavior. This requires observing the reforms adopted during this period and their effect on each social group, but also other factors that may have an influence on the vote such as the charisma of the political leaders, or the perceived alternatives. Donor countries have also had to face electoral challenges linked to their positions on the Greek bailout. There is some evidence that the electoral situation in each country has had an impact on the way and the moment in the conditions of the bailout were approved. In some cases, this has led to a lack of congruence between the objectives followed and the policies requested by the donors. In this case, we could talk about obstacles to reforms related to the electoral risks of donor countries.


The Political Economy of Privatisation Policies after the Economic Crisis in Greece


Dr Özgün Sarımehmet Duman (Visiting Fellow, September 2016 - September 2018) with this research made an inquiry into privatisation as a critical policy tool for economic recovery after the economic crisis in Greece. It provides a concise background of the crisis, the state of the real economy and the financial market, and the measures introduced for economic recovery. It evaluates official documents and legal-institutional regulations. It claims that Greece has experienced a restructuring in its privatisation policy after the economic crisis. 


Implications of Privatisation Policies on the Greek Labour Market


This research by Dr Özgün Sarımehmet Duman (Visiting Fellow, September 2016 - September 2018) focused on analysing how the extending scope of privatisation policies has changed the labour market structures and industrial relations towards further deregulation and flexibilisation in post-crisis Greece. It compares the levels of profitability in certain sectors. It assesses the hypothesis that the extending scope of privatisation policies has fundamentally changed the labour market structures and the nature of industrial relations towards further deregulation and flexibilisation.


Mobility of Highly-Skilled Individuals, Local Innovation and Entrepreneurship Activity



During her Fellowship at the Hellenic Observatory, Dr Claire Economidou (Visiting Senior Fellow, January 2018 - March 2018) studied the different channels and mechanisms of knowledge diffusion and their impact on local innovation and entrepreneurship activity. She examined the importance of proximity, along with institutional and economic factors in shaping the international flows of highly skilled individuals. She specifically focused on patent inventors - a specific class of workers that belong to the upper tail of the skills distribution. She used empirical gravity models, derived from and consistent with an underlying micro-founded random utility model (Bertoli and Moraga, 2015) while importantly also accounting for recent innovations in the empirical literature, namely a high proportion of zeroes in the dependent variable and multilateral resistance to migration. Furthermore, using knowledge production functions, she examines the role of domestic and foreign-borrowed (via the moves of invetors) technological knowledge on a country’s innovation and entrepreneurship activity.


Integration and Well-Being of Syrian Youth in Turkey



Dr Rebecca Bryant is U.K. Principal Investigator of a 30-month collaborative research project, with Koç University in Istanbul, ‘Integration and Well-Being of Syrian Youth in Turkey’, funded by the Research Councils of the U.K. and the Turkish research council (TÜBİTAK). 
The project aims at assessing the needs of youth whose status has shifted from refugee to immigrant as a result of the prolonged conflict, and at developing concrete organisational and policy suggestions for social and economic integration. 

Imagined Sovereignties: frontiers of statehood and globalisation


Dr Rebecca Bryant was co-investigator of a Norwegian Research Council-funded project that ethnographically investigated and compared three cases of sovereignty contests, Northeast India, Cyprus and the Basque country, exploring the changing conditions and spaces for exercising and demanding sovereignty in the contemporary world. The project resulted in a a book-length examination of Turkish Cypriot state building post-1974, 'De Facto Dreams: Building the So-Called State' (with Mete Hatay), to be published with University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Greek Prime Ministers and the Politics of the Core Executive


Prime Ministers in Greece cover

Professor Kevin Featherstone and Dimitris Papadimitriou (University of Manchester)  pursued a research project that examines how prime ministers in Greece have met the challenges of control and coordination of the government from the centre. This led to the book Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power  published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

What Do National Political Elites Think about the European Union today? 



This external project, undertaken by Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos (Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Athens) and Dr Ioannis Tsirbas (Social Research Methods and Political Communication, University of Athens) examined the case of members of the Greek Parliament, in the context of the forthcoming European Parliament elections of 2014. 

Research Grant: €3,000
Duration of Project: 1 Jan - 30 Sep 2014

A GreeSe paper was published by Dr Sotiropoulos and Dr Tsirbas at the end of the project: 'What do national political elites think about the European Union today? An exploratory analysis', no.93, July 2015.

A Reseach Seminar introduced the project to a wider audience in the European Institute, LSE on Tuesday 20 January 2015 - listen to a recording here.


Greek Crisis in Global Media


Eye of the Cyclon

The Hellenic Observatory co-sponsored the project entitled ‘At the Eye of the Cyclone: The Greek Crisis in Global Media’ conducted by Dr Andreas Antoniades and his research team at the Athens Centre for International Political Economy. This research is now a chapter of the book: Greece's Horizons: Reflecting on the Country's Assets and Capabilities . 

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Greek Labour Market


People Walking

The project begun in March 2008 and was supported by the Greek Ministry of Economics and Finance. It was a two-legged project led by Professor Chris Pissaridis, Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis and Professor Kevin Featherstone.


Regionalism as a Developmental Strategy for Southeast Europe



With the support from the Hellenic Observatory's 'National Bank of Greece Research Fund on Southeast Europe', Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis embarked in 2007 on a research project that seeks to examine the relevance of regionalism for economic development in Southeast Europe.


The Muslim Minority of Thrace

Muslim Minority

The project begun in September 2006 and was funded for two years. It was led by Professor Kevin Featherstone (LSE) and Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou (Manchester) and supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK (Grant: AH/D502616/1).

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In 2007 the John S. Latsis Foundation announced its call for projects for research on Greece. The Hellenic Observatory's application, led by Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis, was one of ten successful bids and the only from a non-Greek institution.The project focuses on migrants in the island of Rhodes and explores (a) their experiences and perceptions of life on the island (b) the extent of social interactions, use of local public services and cohesion with the local residents and (c) the impact of migrants on the provision of local public services and on the local economy.

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Poverty in Greece


This was a project undertaken by 'ΚΑΠΑ Research' in Greece, to which the Hellenic Observatory offered advisory services on a consultancy basis.

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Adaptation process of the prospective new member states of the EU



This research project focused on facilitating the adaptation process of the prospective new member states of the EU (CEECs-Hungary, Poland) to the multi-level system of governance in the regional and environment policy areas.

The Balkan Reconstruction Observatory


The Balkan Observatory

The Balkan Reconstruction Observatory (BRO) was set up jointly by the Hellenic Observatory, the Centre for the Study of Global Governance (LSE) and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW), which monitors developments in the region of Southeastern Europe and offers data, comments and analyses on the economic, political and security aspects of the region's reconstruction and integration into the European Union. The Balkan Reconstruction Observatory initiated its activities with a two-day brainstorming meeting on Reconstruction and Regional Co-operation in the Balkans, held in Vouliagmeni (Greece), 8-10 July 1999.

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