A Direct Job Creation Program for Greece

Michael Stephens | December 22, 2011

The Levy Institute, with underwriting from the Labour Institute of the Greek General Confederation of Workers, has helped design and implement a program of direct job creation throughout Greece. Two-year projects, financed using European Structural Funds, have already begun.

This report by Senior Scholar Rania Antonopoulos, President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, and Research Analyst Taun Toay traces the economic trends preceding and surrounding the economic crisis in Greece, with particular emphasis on recent labor market trends and emerging gaps in social safety net coverage. Overall, the report aims to aid policymakers and planners in channeling program resources to the most deserving regions, households, and persons; and in devising data collection methodologies that will facilitate accurate and useful monitoring and evaluation systems for a targeted employment creation program.

On its own, the report provides an excellent in-depth portrayal of the evolution of the Greek economy since joining the euro and traces some of the harrowing challenges ahead—particularly in youth employment (the youth labor force participation rate is 20 percent below the OECD average—what’s happening in Greece will truly mark an entire generation).

For those interested in the policy side, the report also provides a solid introduction to the conceptual justification behind a direct job creation program along the lines of Hyman Minsky’s “employer of last resort” idea (beginning on p.33 of the report), while also detailing some of the nuts-and-bolts monitoring and evaluation aspects of making this kind of policy work.

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