Abstract

FINANCING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN GREECE: LESSONS FROM THE CRISIS 

 

Helen Louri

Athens University of Economics and Business

 

 Petros Migiakis

Bank of Greece

 

Abstract

We examine the existence of a feedback loop between the resilience of the financial sector and Greek economic activity. A sequence of structural VARs is employed using data for bank credit, liquidity, capital, asset quality and private demand in 2001-2018 in two data sets. One in monthly frequency with which we examine the determinants of credit provision by Greek banks, and another in quarterly frequency with which we examine the finance-growth nexus for the Greek economy. We find that (a) the deterioration in the quality of Greek banks’ balance sheets affected negatively the provision of credit to the economy, (b) central bank liquidity and recapitalizations of Greek banks provided only a partial remedy and (c) the decline in credit significantly weakened economic activity. Also, we find that there is a role for market financing of the economy but this cannot substitute for the predominantly bank-based financing. Therefore, as the Greek economy starts bouncing back Greek banks have an important role to play, first by solving the high NPLs problem and providing the necessary credit and second by improving the efficiency of capital allocation towards a sustainable growth model.

Keywords: Greek crisis; credit provision; finance-growth nexus; financial stability; NPLs.

JEL-classifications: E22; E44; G01; G21.

 

Acknowledgements: We wish to thank participants at the “Greece and the Euro: From Crisis to Recovery” conference (Tufts University, Boston, April 2019), as well as Heather Gibson and Hiona Balfoussia for their insightful comments and suggestions. Helen Louri gratefully acknowledges research support from the Research Centre of the Athens University of Economics and Business. The views expressed are our own and not necessarily shared by the institutions we are affiliated with. Any errors remain our responsibility.

 

Correspondence:

Petros Migiakis

Economic Analysis and Research

Bank of Greece

21 El. Venizelos Av.,

10250 Athens, Greece

Email: pmigiakis@bankofgreece.gr
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