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The Greek Crisis and the Future of the Eurozone
Prof Sir Christopher Pissarides, IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large, HKUST; Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
Date : 17 Sep 2015 (Thursday)
Time : 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Venue : IAS Lecture Theater, Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST
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The Greek crisis has features that should not be new to economists and policy makers. A state within a monetary union, which has a common currency and common monetary policy, has run huge debts which it cannot repay. The money is owed mostly to its partners in the Union. What does the country do and what do the partner countries do? The peculiarities of the Eurozone and the premature adoption of monetary union fifteen years ago open up a host of issues in relation to this crisis. Should Greece be allowed to default on its debts? Should it be forced to leave the union so that it can issue its own currency and pay for its debts that way? Should it give up its sovereign powers and allow its partners to bail it out and run its policy? The answers to these questions have implications for the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole. In this lecture the speaker will discuss the approach followed by European Union and its implications for its economic revival and future growth.


About the speaker

Prof Sir Christopher Pissarides is the first Nobel laureate appointed to HKUST faculty. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, jointly with Prof Dale Mortensen of Northwestern University and Prof Peter Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his work in the economics of labor markets, especially his work on markets with frictions and unemployment. Prior to that, in 2005, he became the first European economist to win the IZA Prize in Labor Economics, sharing it again with his collaborator Prof Dale Mortensen.

Prof Pissarides received his PhD in Economics in 1973 from the London School of Economics (LSE) and has been on its faculty since 1976. He is the Regius Professor of Economics at the LSE, the Professor of European Studies at the University of Cyprus, and the Chairman of the Council of National Economy of the Republic of Cyprus, and the IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

In 2011, Prof Pissarides served as the President of the European Economic Association. Between 2000 and 2007 he was the external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Cyprus, which brought the euro to Cyprus. He has also been consultant on matters concerning the euro to the British Treasury and the Swedish Commission on the euro. He has also been consultant at the European Commission, World Bank and OECD on matters related to employment and macroeconomic policy.

Prof Pissarides is an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Athens, the Academia Europaea and several other learned societies, and he is a Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Economic Association. He has been honored by several universities worldwide with doctorates or professorships. In 2011 he received the Grand Cross of the Republic of Cyprus, the highest honor of the Republic. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

Prof Pissarides has written extensively in professional journals, magazines and the press. His book Equilibrium Unemployment Theory is an influential reference in the economics of unemployment that has been translated into many languages. He is frequently quoted in the press on issues concerning the Eurozone and the future of European integration.

For attendees’ attention


  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
  Light refreshments will be served from 4:30 to 5:00 pm.



HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Enquiries: ias@ust.hk / 2358 5912