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The Macroeconomics of the Greek Depression

Working Paper 758 | Revised January 10, 2023

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Gabriel Chodorow-Reich Harvard University
Rohan Kekre University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Macroeconomics of the Greek Depression


Greece experienced a boom until 2007, followed by a collapse of unprecedented magnitude and persistence. We assess the sources of the boom and the bust, using a rich estimated dynamic general equilibrium model. External demand and government consumption fueled the boom in production, whereas transfers fueled the boom in consumption. Different from the standard narrative, wages and prices declined substantially during the bust. Tax policy accounts for the largest fraction of the bust in production, whereas uninsurable risk accounts for the bust in consumption and wages. We assess how the composition of fiscal adjustment and bailouts affected the crisis.