Professor Theodore Pelagidis: Professor of Economics, University of Piraeus

Event Date: 
Monday, April 21, 2008 - 22:15

"Comparing Administrative and Financial Autonomy of Higher Education Institutions in Seven EU Countries." In this lecture, Theodore Pelagidis investigated the correlation between autonomy (administrative and financial) with scientific output in 7-EU member-states. Specifically, he looked at the ability of universities to hire and reward their academic staff according to their own criteria, to select their incoming students and to freely determine the content of their academic program. He also examined if the universities have been granted sufficient policy discretion over the allocation of the funds that are put at their disposal. Subsequently, he examined if these administrative and financial autonomy are granted together with increased accountability, with regard to both financial and academic matters. He then briefly presented and analyzed evidence concerning the educational outcomes of the policy reforms implemented in the 7-EU countries under examination. He measured scientific outcome through publications per million of population and highly cited publications, and correlated them with academic freedom. He then constructed an index that measured the autonomy and accountability of the academic institutions. He also related public expenditure on R&D and academic performance as well as scientific output with labor market performance. "Expensive Living Under the Euro (with a focus on Greece)" Apart from its widely accepted direct advantages, the introduction of euro has been accompanied by a surge of inflation in most of the EU member-States. At the same time, wages of the unskilled in particular, are relatively losing ground while the purchasing power of the average European seems also to have weakened since the introduction of the single currency. In this lecture, Pelagidis dealt with five relevant central issues to interpret expensiveness in a southern eurozone state, namely Greece in particular. Despite the focus on Greece in this Onassis foundation lecture, most of the issues responsible for expensiveness apply to most of the eurozone countries. First, he examined to what extent recent inflation trends are attributable to the constraints imposed by Monetary Union, namely negative demand disturbances in certain Greek regions. Second, he investigated to what extent these patterns are also due to the adoption of the euro including conversion period effects- over domestic rigidities such as product market rigidities. Third, he investigated the impact of seasonal effects on inflation, in the context of the Greek so-called traditional petit-bourgeois capitalism. Fourth, he explored the extent to which unemployment is another factor that drives wages and purchasing power down. Fifth, he applied the Balassa-Samuelson effect to see whether it constitutes the culprit for non-tradable products price hikes in particular. He found that all the aforementioned factors contribute to the Greek expensiveness. This event was sponsored by the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)