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52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions in Motion - Breaking the Path", 21-25 August 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia
The fears of a sovereign debt crisis and the consequent lack of confidence, indicated by a widening of bond yield spreads and risk insurance of credit default swaps, have transformed a financial crisis to an economic crisis in Greece, affecting its productive bases and its income level. Up to the present time, there is no clear empirical evidence about the spatial impact of the economic crisis on Greek territory. Because of the austerity measures imposed in Greece from its lenders (i.e. the IMF and the EU counterparts), inevitably, the main focus of attention has been on national rather than regional level, although the crisis has obvious spatial aspects that should not be neglected: (a) the initial, pre-crisis, conditions (i.e. market size, accessibility, geomorphology, natural resources, productive structure) were, already, strongly differentiated among Greek regions; (b) the anti-crisis, austerity, measures taken may have significantly differentiated implications across space; (c) the implementation of spatial policies may be hindered in countries being in stressful fiscal situation. From this perspective, (further) research should be done; critical issues such as how different places are affected by the economic crisis and why, and which regions will continue to be affected, are still open. The paper presents the spatial impact of the ongoing (2009-…) economic crisis in Greece, assessing the resilience and development of the Greek regions. To this end, a Composite Indicator of Regional Resilience (CIRR) and a Composite Indicator of Regional Development (CIRD) are constructed. Both Indicators include statistical data referring to a series of economic, structural, demographic and social variables. The data are derived from Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.) and cover the period 2008-2010. The CIRR is calculated, for the whole period under consideration, as the average of the standardized growth values. The CIRD is calculated, for each year included in the period under consideration, as the average of the standardized absolute values. The calculations are conducted at the NUTS III spatial level. Both Indicators are concise, yet comprehensive, policy tools, allowing for the study of the spatial footprint of economic crisis. The findings of the paper verify that the pro-cyclical pattern of regional development in Greece, detected in periods of expansion, still exists in the period of recession. : economic crisis, Greece, spatial impact, composite indicators
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