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Keeping the euro at any cost? Explaining preferences for euro membership in Greece


Dinas, Elias; Jurado, Ignacio; Konstantinidis, Nikitas; Walter, Stefanie (2016). Keeping the euro at any cost? Explaining preferences for euro membership in Greece. In: APSA Annual Meeting 2016, Philadephia, PA,, 1 September 2016 - 4 September 2016, 28.

Abstract

Despite years of crisis, the euro is still enjoying strong popular support in many of the Eurozone crisis countries. Given the high costs that the crisis has imposed on these countries, this raises the question why the public thinks so favorable of the union, and under which circumstances these high support levels may decrease. Using original survey data from three consecutive survey waves in Greece (from July, September and December 2015), we analyze why Greeks view the euro so favorably. We use a detailed battery of questions, designed specifically to tap the many explanations given in the literature and public debate for this phenomenon, to tease out the different mechanisms. Using survey experiments, we then specifically focus on the tradeoff between keeping the euro and austerity. We find that as individuals learn that austerity is the price for staying in the euro, their support for the common currency weakens, a trend that we can also observe over time, as support for the euro fell significantly between July and December 2015. Overall, our paper provides an explanation why political elites so far have been able to commit to painful austerity and reforms: they had a clear mandate to everything necessary to stay in the euro. Our results suggest, however, that this may change when the costs of austerity become too high, making an exit for the Eurozone a distinct possibility.

Abstract

Despite years of crisis, the euro is still enjoying strong popular support in many of the Eurozone crisis countries. Given the high costs that the crisis has imposed on these countries, this raises the question why the public thinks so favorable of the union, and under which circumstances these high support levels may decrease. Using original survey data from three consecutive survey waves in Greece (from July, September and December 2015), we analyze why Greeks view the euro so favorably. We use a detailed battery of questions, designed specifically to tap the many explanations given in the literature and public debate for this phenomenon, to tease out the different mechanisms. Using survey experiments, we then specifically focus on the tradeoff between keeping the euro and austerity. We find that as individuals learn that austerity is the price for staying in the euro, their support for the common currency weakens, a trend that we can also observe over time, as support for the euro fell significantly between July and December 2015. Overall, our paper provides an explanation why political elites so far have been able to commit to painful austerity and reforms: they had a clear mandate to everything necessary to stay in the euro. Our results suggest, however, that this may change when the costs of austerity become too high, making an exit for the Eurozone a distinct possibility.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:4 September 2016
Deposited On:15 Feb 2017 12:10
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 12:18
OA Status:Green

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