Eurostat: Real unemployment double than the official rate

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Gender distribution in selected labour categories, age 15-74, EU-28, 2012 (Eurostat graph)

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Eurostat, the EU statistical service, revealed that the true unemployment rate in Eurozone during the third quarter of 2013 was much higher than the ‘officially’ recognised percentage of 11.5%, according to the definition of UN’s International Labour Organisation. Including the three forms of de facto but not recognised by the ILO unemployment definition or “halos around unemployment” as Eurostat calls it, the people without a job in Q3 of 2013 were 21.2% of the labour force. This is almost the double than the official rate.

Those three forms of real but not ‘officially recognised’ unemployment are the following: underemployed part-time workers, jobless persons seeking a job but not immediately available for work and jobless persons available for work but not seeking it. No need to mention that the youths of 15-24 years of age are…

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Rebel with a Cause: Greece’s Chicken Game

Florian Bieber's Notes from Syldavia

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In a classic scene in „Rebel without a Cause“ Jim , played by James Dean is racing with Buzz  towards a cliff, whoever jumps out first is the chicken, the looser. Jim jumps out on time, while Buzz gets caught in the car door and drops down the cliff with his car.

This scene is not only popular with movie buffs, but also with scholars. Scholars of game theory, like Yanis Varoufakis, the new Greek minister of finance. This „chicken game“ is about driver’s drive towards each other on a collision course (an alternative version of heading for the cliff). One of the two must swerve, or both might die. However, who gets out of the way first is a ‘chicken’. Varoufakis in his writings about game theory uses the alternative term of ‘hawk and dove’.

Key to winning this game is to signal to the other…

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And the Good Ship Greece Sails On: ‘Letter’ to an italian colleague

Yanis Varoufakis

A few weeks ago I was approached by Andrea Adriatico, a theatre director from Bologna’s Teatri Di Vita with an interesting request: Could I write a ‘letter’ to some fictional Italian economics professor, outlining on a colleague-to-colleague basis, the Greek ‘situation’ as it is experienced by a Greek economics professor. That letter would then be read out during a play, and be part of the play [entitled Cuore di… Grecia, i.e. Heart of… Greece). Well, I was intrigued and said I would do it. The ‘letter’ I ended up writing follows. The first performance is scheduled toward the end of July…

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